After watching the Toronto Maple Leafs take one of their centers, the New York Islanders responded by taking one of theirs in Leo Komarov.
It’s been a sad day for the New York Islanders and their fans.
John Tavares, the first overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has signed with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs after playing the first nine seasons of his NHL career with the Isles.
With Tavares gone, the team has not necessarily found a replacement, but have added a center in 31-year-old Leo Komarov.
Komarov scored seven goals and 19 points last season in 74 games with the Maple Leafs and has signed onto a four-year deal with the Isles worth $12 million ($3 million AAV).
Leo Komarov to the NYI, four years, AAV of $3M. Yearly breakdown is $4M, $3.5M, $2.5M and $2M.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2018
In 327 NHL games, Komarov has scored 52 goals and 122 points. Last season, while playing an average of 15:47 a night, Komarov led the team and was 14th in the League and first on the team with 219 hits.
Behind the trio of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner, Komarov was fourth on the team in takeaways with 47.
Komarov averaged 2:35 of ice-time short-handed a night and was third on the team with 190:50 total minutes on the penalty-kill. The Leafs’ penalty-kill was tied for 10th overall last season at 81.4 percent.
With Tavares leaving and every center essentially moving up one spot in the lineup because of it, Komarov can slot in on the third-line and can help shut down some of the opposition’s top players with his defensive-minded style of play.
For those who can’t keep track of today’s free agency frenzy, here is the status of the Islanders so far:
Players lost: F John Tavares (Toronto Maple Leafs), G Jaroslav Halak (Boston Bruins), F Chris Wagner (Boston Bruins), F Alan Quine (Calgary Flames), F Nikolay Kulemin (KHL), G Kristers Gudlveskis (KHL)
Player re-signed: D Thomas Hickey
Players signed: F Leo Komarov (Toronto Maple Leafs)