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Samsonov Return to Maple Leafs Well Timed as Trades Get Tricky

The timing of Ilya Samsonov’s return to the Maple Leafs is well timed as reports that trades for the team are getting harder to pull off.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have Ilya Samsonov back in between the pipes on Wednesday night as the team faces off with the San Jose Sharks. It will be his first game back after suffering an injury during a game against the Boston Bruins on Nov.5. In fact, the Maple Leafs finally have both of their top goaltending options back and with Matt Murray playing well since his return from injury, the timing couldn’t be better for Samsonov to join him.

There was talk when both goalies went down that the Leafs were in scramble mode. Trying to figure out who was going to take the net for them with both starters out meant searching around the NHL to see if there were options available on the trade market. GM Kyle Dubas ultimately decided not to do anything major, but he might not have been able to, even if he was willing. Trades aren’t exactly easy to come by these days and for the Leafs, the marketplace is only going to close up further on them.

As per Twitter user @OilerAnalytics, TSN’s Darren Dreger recently said during a spot on TSN radio: “The Leafs seem to be running out of time. I’ve had plenty of interesting conversations around the league, and it sounds like players are getting less interested in the Toronto market. Not making it past the first round in over a decade will do that.” While we have not heard Dreger’s actual quote and therefore can’t verify the accuracy of it, Elliotte Friedman has spoken on multiple occasions that Canadian teams are finding it harder to land players and the Leafs are a Canadian team. If you couple their lack of playoff success with their location north of the border, Dreger is probably correct when he suggests the Leafs can’t just point to any one player and expect them to jump to the pump to join the roster.

Ilya Samsonov Maple Leafs

For that reason, it’s critical their own players stay healthy. If the Leafs can go on a bit of a run with their two chosen goaltenders, that would be good news for the team and its players. And who knows, if Toronto really starts to string together some wins, some of the players who aren’t all that keen to move might start to shift their thinking. It’s not far from that time of the season when teams begin exploring their options and talking to the players they intend to shop.

Next: Maple Leafs’ Nick Robertson Draws in vs. the Sharks Tonight: How Come?



  1. Brian L

    November 30, 2022 at 12:03 pm

    Don’t believe anything Dreger says. I’m quite sure players would love to join a team like the leafs with their talented players and even though getting out of the first round has been a challenge most players from non playoff teams especially would love the chance to compete. Remember most trading partners are lower seeding teams. His Hot Take is simply click bait nonsense.

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