Dreger: Komisarek's time with Leafs likely done

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TSN.ca Staff
3/20/2013 1:34:36 PM
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The Toronto Maple Leafs placed defenceman Mike Komisarek on waivers on Wednesday, so does that mean it's the end of the line for the 31-year-old in Toronto?

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, that could well be the case.

The writing has apparently been on the wall for the big-name free agent acquisition from 2009, as his ice-time has dwindled over the past two seasons.

"It's not surprising that the Toronto Maple Leafs would want to waive Mike Komisarek," Dreger said on TSN.ca from the NHL General Managers' Meetings in Toronto Wednesday. "He hasn't been part of their ongoing plan, obviously, this season, spending the majority of the season thus far in the press box."

Komisarek has appeared in just four games for the Leafs this season, failing to reach the score sheet and posting a plus-two rating with two penalty minutes.

Signed to a five-year, $22.5-million deal by the Leafs in 2009, Komisarek's playing time has dwindled over the past two seasons. He was limited to just 34 games in his first season with the Leafs as a shoulder injury kept him out of both the Leafs' line-up and the Olympic Games in Vancouver, where he had been selected to represent the United States.

Komisarek would play 75 games for the Leafs in 2010-11, but appeared in only 45 for the Leafs last season, largely due to a broken arm.

Originally selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round (seventh overall) at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Komisarek was allowed to leave town as an unrestricted free agent and opted to sign with the archrival Leafs.

In 519 career NHL games with the Canadiens and Leafs, Komisarek has scored 14 goals and 63 assists with a minus-15 rating.

Key in the process of putting Komisarek on waivers, however, was the consent of the New York-native, himself.

"[The Leafs] needed the clearance from Komisarek to put him on waivers," Dreger added. "If Mike Komisarek is not claimed then he has agreed to report to the American Hockey League and the Toronto Marlies."

A physical presence on the blue line, Komisarek's style of play might suit a lot of teams looking to upgrade their defence, but Dreger notes that his salary could act as a deterrent.

"There are a lot of teams looking for defence," Dreger said, "but at a $4.5-million cap hit, that's also a lot of money for teams to absorb."

So where does that leave the former All-Star?

"I think that he'll clear waivers and it's more likely that he'll end up in the American Hockey League and perhaps Toronto views him as a compliance buyout in the summer," Dreger concluded.

Mike Komisarek (Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
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