The New York Islanders have placed Leo Komarov on waivers, essentially telling us that the veteran forward will be on the team’s taxi squad.
Two days. The New York Islanders season opener against the New York Rangers is just two days away. With that, Lou Lamoriello is making the final touches on the roster. The Isles and the other 30 teams in the league need to be cap compliant by 5 PM EST on Tuesday.
A move that likely puts Leo in the Islanders taxi squad.
The taxi squad is probably the best place for Leo Komarov. The Islanders front office and the playing staff love him. He’s clearly a great guy to have in the dressing room. But his on-ice performances dipped last season.
Couple those performances with a $3 million cap hit and the Islanders tight to the cap, putting Leo through waivers, where the Isles could save $1.075 million makes a lot of sense. And it’s not like he goes anywhere.
Players on an NHL taxi squad in 2021 can practice and travel with the team. That means Leo can continue to be that glue guy for the Islanders and help the team be cap compliant.
Now, no one knows for sure if Leo Komarov will in fact start the season on the taxi squad. It’s entirely possible that Lou is simply making this a paper move to stay cap compliant once the season begins he can bring Leo back into the squad and place a guy like Otto Koivula on the taxi squad.
Koivula is exempt from going through waivers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are in the same boat as the Islanders. It’s why GM Julien BriseBois sent Tyler Johnson through waivers. It’s all about cap management. Once the Lightning are cap compliant, they can make some other moves. Of course, the same applies to the Isles.
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So we’ll see where Leo actually ends up, but for now, it seems like the taxi squad is where he’ll end up. And honestly, that’s a good place for him in my opinion.
Of course, this assumes no one claims him through the waiver wire. But it would be a big surprise if Leo gets claimed.