Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Wants Out

When last season ended for the Toronto Maple Leafs, forward Ilya Mikheyev made one thing clear to management - he wanted to be traded.

Mikheyev let it be known during his exit interview last season to general manager Kyle Dubas that he was unhappy with his role on the team, the ice-time he's received and he wanted a fresh start somewhere else this summer. Dubas did not oblige, choosing to keep the Russian hard-working forward and is going to try and show him this season he's an integral part of the Maple Leafs.

Mikheyev is 26, entering the final season of his contract before he hits unrestricted free agency. This season he'll make $1.64 million on the cap, and is coming off a season where he put up only seven goals and 17 total points in 54 games. He then went on to score zero points in seven post season games.

You can't blame the player for complaining though. Mikheyev's ice-time decreased by over a minute from 2019-20, however from the Maple Leafs management perspective, it makes sense to keep the player. The team lost Zach Hyman, are ultra-thin at left-wing and Mikheyev's work ethic is right up there with Hyman's. Look for the Russian forward to be given a look with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner early on in preseason. What he does with the opportunity is on him.

Photo credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

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