In a three and a half year span during which the Toronto Maple Leafs have played 268 regular-season games, he has been in the lineup for just 158 of them, missing more than 40 per cent of action due to injuries or – more often of late – sitting as a healthy scratch. And it’s really not certain just when (or if) Mike Komisarek will draw back into the Leafs lineup. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle had opened the crack for the veteran a little to start the season, playing him in four of Toronto’s first eight games in third pairing minutes. The past month, however, Komisarek has been relegated to the press box full time in favour of younger, cheaper players, and there is now talk around the league that he would welcome a change of scenery. Which, at this point, can’t come as a surprise, despite the fact he has a no-movement clause attached to the $22.5-million deal he signed as a free agent in 2009. “Mike Komisarek gave Leafs a list of 12 teams he’d accept a trade to, but I’m told he’d pretty much accept a trade anywhere,” St. Louis-based broadcaster Andy Strickland posted on Twitter on Saturday. “Wants to play.” Komisarek’s contract is such that he has to provide that list of 12 teams every June 15, so that part is not exactly news, but if he is willing to play anywhere, league wide, that may give Leafs GM Dave Nonis a couple more options to pursue. Toronto would likely have to assume the max salary they’re allowed to (50 per cent, or $2.25-million annually) to move him – especially given how little Komisarek has played – and even then it may be difficult to find a home for him. Being in limbo like this is a difficult situation for the player, too, as regardless of the money involved, this is hardly what Komisarek wanted when he chose Toronto as a free agent in the summer of 2009. He was asked about the rumours after practice on Sunday and wasn’t revealing much.
Can the Leafs find a new home for Komisarek?
The Globe and Mail | Mar 5