Rumours swirled around the Toronto Maple Leafs this week as a pair of impending free agents declared their interest in returning to the Blue and White.
Leo Komarov’s agent was in Toronto for the draft combine on Monday. Komarov, whose rights are owned by the Leafs until July 1st, played 42 games as a Leaf in 2012-13 before signing with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL in the 2013-14 season. His agent confirmed that he is looking for a long-term contract with an NHL club, the Leafs at the top of their list.
Leo Komarov’s agent is in T.O. for draft combine. Says client will play in NHL and looking for long-term deal. Leafs still No 1 choice.
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) May 26, 2014
The Finnish Olympian earned fan favourite status quickly with Leafs fans for his role as a pest. During his time in Moscow Komarov made statements about his love for Toronto, saying that his time as a Leaf was “probably the best time of my life”.
More hopeful reports surfaced when Dave Bolland expressed his desire to remain a Maple Leaf.
“I want to get something done here, and I want to be a Leaf until my career is done,” Bolland said during an appearance on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Brady and Walker Tuesday morning. “Come July 1, I do have that option [unrestricted free agency], but one of my top priorities is staying here.”
Bolland was among the Leafs’ top performers early in the season but suffered a lengthy stint on injured reserve after severing tendons in a collision with Vancouver’s Zack Kassian. Bolland returned before the season’s end but failed to regain his early season form.
Earlier in the year Nick Kypreos reported that Bolland was seeking a $40 million dollar, 7-8 year extension with the Leafs. More recent reports have stated that the Leafs do not wish to pay Bolland more than $4.2 million a year, the figure they gave to Tyler Bozak last summer when he hit unrestricted free agency.
The Toronto Marlies are now one game away from elimination in their conference final with the Texas Stars. The Marlies, who went undefeated through the first two rounds of the AHL playoffs, need to win the final two games of their series against the Stars, having lost three of the first five meetings.