Islanders 2019-20 player grade: Leo Komarov Became Replaceable
By Matt O'Leary
Leo Komarov played only 48 games for the Islanders this year as he looked very replaceable in the limited sample size.
This year was Leo Komarov’s second year of a four-year deal. In year one, Komarov was a regular playing in all 82 games for the Islanders but this year saw a little bit of a change for Komarov. It started out as an illness that turned into a neck issue.
Komarov ended up missing time from October 17 all the way through November 13. Like last year, he started out on the third line but had to move around due to numerous injuries to Case Cizikas and the inconsistency of Derick Brassard at center.
His first goal of the season didn’t come until January 14 which was exactly 357 days since his last regular-season goal. Yes, Uncle Leo almost went a full calendar year without a regular-season goal.
His goal to end the streak was so flukey, you couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Komarov would add three more goals to his name on the season, two of which were empty-net goals. So yes, technically Leo Komarov scored one goal that wasn’t an empty netter or just totally bizarre.
Anyway, we know Leo Komarov isn’t here to be a goal scorer but his on-ice time dropped significantly, by over a minute, from last year to this year. He wasn’t nearly as effective without Val Filppula and the coaching staff noticed as he was a healthy scratch on a few occasions this season.
Komarov finished the year with 14 points (4 goals, 10 assists) in 48 games played. He also went from a +26 last year to a +2 a drastic change for a third line that was mostly a black hole this year.
The Grade: D+
Leo was very much a nonfactor for the Islanders this year and could be someone that Lou Lamoriello tries to move due to his cap number. He has two more years at $3 million, and besides maybe Andrew Ladd and Johnny Boychuk, he’s someone who gets brought up a ton when trying to free up cap for the future.
It’s no secret, the Isles management loves their veterans but unless they decide to let Matt Martin walk I’m not sure where Komarov has a spot. Do you really want a $3 million cap hit as a healthy scratch?
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I mean, it’s getting tough to run him out on the third line with the little production he gives offensively. He’s still a fine penalty killer, which slightly saves his grade, but all-in-all he’s a very replaceable piece and he showed that this year in the limited time we saw him.