The news that the Toronto Maple Leafs are ahead of the pack when it comes to landing KHL forward Konstantin Okulov might just be true.
Speculation was that the Maple Leafs were scaring off other teams — all but the Montreal Canadiens apparently — and they were the front runners to land Okulov in the hopes that he could provide some less-expensive options for their offense which is heavily loaded at the front.
Igor Eronko of Sport-Express confirms that Okulov is already speaking with the Maple Leafs, specifically coach Mike Babcock, on the phone. If teams weren’t sure the Maple Leafs were leading the pack before, they should know it now.
There was no specifics provided by Eronko on what the two sides talked about but the likelihood would be where he fits on the roster as the 24-year old scored 20 goals and 31 points last season and probably isn’t looking to come over to the NHL just to sit, be a healthy scratch of be demoted to the Marlies if he doesn’t come in and contribute right away.
Why Would the Maple Leafs Be Interested?
The Maple Leafs interest has to be obvious for most keeping a close eye on this situation. The team has so much money tied up in only a few players and they have a nightmare situation coming up when it comes to their blue line that finding talent elsewhere is critical to their long-term success and ability to remain competitive.
In other words, the Maple Leafs need to find that inexpensive diamond in the rough that knocks it out of the ballpark on the cheap. They believe Okulov has the potential to do just that.
This worked with Ilya Mikheyev who is producing for the Maple Leafs right now at under $1 million. The hope is they can finding lightning in a bottle twice.
/ 2 hours ago
Evander Kane says he never bet on NHL games and believes he'll be exonerated...
/ 5 hours ago
Admittedly, Duncan Keith looks good in an Edmonton Oilers uniform. While it’s still a...
/ 1 day ago
There were whispers things weren’t looking good for Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Dylan Holloway when...
/ 1 day ago
Neither injury has been deemed serious, but the Maple Leafs lost both Justin Holl...
/ 2 days ago
Tyler Bozak has worked out a deal with the St. Louis Blues to stick...
/ 4 days ago
If Jack Eichel isn't traded, the player could run into issues if/when he fails...
/ 6 days ago
Zach Parise is officially a member of the New York Islanders and talked his...
/ 1 week ago
Owner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Tom Dundon, spoke about tendering an offer sheet to...
/ 1 week ago
The Montreal Canadiens scrambled to find multiple options before they landed on Christian Dvorak....
/ 2 weeks ago
The Montreal Canadiens didn't match the offer sheet for Jesperi Kotkaniemi and then traded...