Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello says Soshnikov will be recalled today from his AHL conditioning stint and remain on injured reserve with the Leafs— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 12, 2018
The Toronto Maple Leafs currently has 24 men on their active roster, with Soshnikov coming off a conditioning stint where he performed very well on the Marlies.
Or so we all expected, anyway.
This was meant to be a roster crisis for the Leafs, with several ways out of the 24 men for 23 seats conundrum. The most obvious way out, just leave Soshnikov on IR, did occur to me, but in a “they wouldn’t, would they?” sort of way.
Per his agent, Nikita Soshnikov is "going to take the day off today and take it from there.” #Leafs— Dhiren Mahiban (@dcmahiban) February 12, 2018
Soshnikov, who is 24 and was acquired as a free agent in 2015, has spent most of this season in the press box or on IR. He has 17 points in 19 total AHL games and no points in three NHL appearances. His waiver exemption ran out in those three NHL starts.
He looks like the man on the bubble. And the bubble should have popped today, but by claiming, in the absence of all reason, common sense, concern for reputation, optics, the rules, the appearance of propriety or even just passing my bullshit detector, the Leafs have kicked the can down the road again on a roster problem they obviously need to solve.
A trade now seems inevitable. What is the point of three forwards in the press box (Josh Leivo and Matt Martin the other two) who you don’t want to play?
I feel like yelling out JUST TAKE THE DAMN CONDITIONAL FIFTH!
And then Bob McKenzie says this:
If or when TOR gets around to trading an NHL body, I won’t be surprised if they “lose” another NHL contract or two in the deal. Not necessarily “Grabner level” (circa 2015) contract dumping, but being at max 50 contracts is not very Lou like: https://t.co/MSnQQyvkqL but be— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 12, 2018
And I wonder if he’s just stating the obvious, because Twitter is good for that, or if he’s got an inkling something will break to solve this roster problem before the NHL is forced to say to the Leafs that this move does actually smell like a cattle barn, and may indeed be bullshit.
Lamoriello says Soshnikov needs to get back into NHL practices once he rejoins the Leafs. "There's no illegality to this. We're not doing anything that isn't the normal process."— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) February 12, 2018
Well no, you know, there is no literal requirement in the CBA for perfectly fit players coming off of long-term injury conditioning stints to be put on the active roster. There are rules about players on IR having to actually be injured, however.
When the next move in this roster dance happens, we’ll fill you in.