Uncle Leo! Reportedly, Leo Komarov is going to be KHL bound and signing with SKA. The news came out early this morning and caught Islanders fans by surprise as a mid-season move to a different league is rare.
Now, the Islanders did waive Leo Komarov earlier in the year with the intention of him going down to play in the AHL. He has not yet reported as it was announced that he was rehabbing an injury before going to Bridgeport.
The question that I’m sure everyone is wondering is what that means for the Islanders cap situation. Leo has a $3 million tag on him, with him in the AHL they are able to bury up to $1.125 million of that money.
According to CapFriendly, the only way that the full $3 million would come off the books is if the Islanders and Leo both decided to terminate the remainder of his contract.
Komarov has played just one game in the NHL for the Islanders this year and his role was expected to be significantly decreased. Leo last played a full season in 2018-2019 when he had 26 points (6 goals, 20 assists) in his first year with the club.
Over 164 games in four years, Komarov has 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists). Both Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello were fond of his game but if he would rather go to the KHL and play instead of reporting to the AHL, I can’t say that I blame him.
Before playing in the NHL, Komarov played with the Moscow Dynamo from 2009 through 2012. He also did a couple of stints there after joining Toronto. He played there in 2012-2013 during the lockout and then spent the entire 2013-2014 season back in Moscow.
Everything adds up, now it’s just a waiting game to see if the Islanders are getting the cap relief or not. Knowing Lou, there’s probably a way he freed up the $3 million.