Will The Soshniclause Effect The Shannaplan?


In an interesting development out of Toronto, Russian Maple Leafs forward, Nikita Soshnikov, has a clause in his contract which states that if the forward is not called up from the AHL by Nov 14th 2017, he can opt to return to the KHL on loan and stay for an indeterminate amount of time.

 With the glut of quality NHL ready forwards already in the Maple Leafs system, this could certainly complicate things for Leafs management. With Josh Leivo and Kasperi Kapanen watching the last game from the press box, it is hard to imagine the Leafs having any room to play Soshnikov.

Letting Soshnikov head to the KHL on his own terms may not be what the Leafs have in mind either. At the beginning of the 2016/2017 season, it was expected Soshnikov would be a regular fixture in the line up with the much publicized rookie core, however, injuries & missed time appear to have cost Soshnikov his job as other NHL ready players like Connor Brown & Zach Hyman got the spotlight.

Both gritty and offensively capable, Soshnikov could make an impact on most any NHL team.  He is physical and defensively reliable. I took in a Toronto Marlies game a few years back because I was interested to see then, Leafs prospect, William Nylander. To my surprise, Nikita Soshnikov was far and above the best player on the ice that night.

Will the “Soshniclause” entice management to move pending UFA James van Riemsdyk who many suspect is in his last season as a Maple Leaf or perhaps winger Leo Komarov who plays a similar brand of hockey to that of Soshnikov?


In any case, the obvious need for the Maple Leafs to become a true contender is at defense.  At some point Leafs GM, Lou Lamoriello, will undoubtedly start moving out forwards for help on the improve back end.

Stay tuned as rumor mill starts to turn around Leafs Nation once again.

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