Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs
It's been a brutal season for Ilya Samsonov with the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, not going how he or the organization would have hoped after first signing before last season. He was signed to become a goalie-by-committee with Matt Murray, ultimately taking the crease after another Murray injury. Samsonov has been nowhere near the goalie the Leafs were hoping for, as he's become a shell of himself from his early days with the Capitals.
Samsonov was waived on New Year's Eve, passing through on New Year's Day as he went unclaimed. He won't immediately report to the Toronto Marlies, as GM Brad Treliving believes his goaltender needs a week away in order to reset.
"It’s a physical and mental reset where he can get away from preparing for the next game and all the pressures that come with it," Treliving said. "To me, I’m seeing the mental drives the bus a little bit. It’s hard to correct the technical side when there's a lot going on. So we're trying to just let the air out of the balloon a little bit."
Samsonov's numbers have been cruel, posting a 3.94 GAA and .862 Sv% - the second-worst of any NHL goaltender to appear in at least seven games this season.
It sounds like Treliving believes Samsonov is still an integral part of the Leafs this season, but if a team were to come around willing to take a portion of the $3.55M cap hit off his plate, he'd surely listen.
It's far from the ideal move for the Islanders, but there's not much out there in the goaltender market, and possibly having a fellow Russian to split the crease with Sorokin could help spark something Sasonov showed in Washington. This would only be much of a consideration if Varly is to miss significant time.