Maple Leafs & Canadiens Interested in Big Russian Free Agent


After a 31-goal season in 65 games in the KHL, Spartak Moscow forward Maxim Tsyplakov has become a wanted commodity on the international free agent market. And the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be two teams that are facing off to win his signature.

Tsyplakov's 31 markers were good for 4th in the KHL this past season. Marc Dumont of Montreal Hockey Now tries to put things in perspective, however, by noting that former Montreal Canadiens fourth-liner Jordan Weal finished right behind Tsyplakov at 30 goals. So there's that. 

Nevertheless, it appears that there are other teams interested in the big Russian forward as well. With his size, 6'3", 190 pounds, he's able to play a physical game, mixing it up in traffic, and at just 25 years old, is entering his prime. 

Dumont notes that Tsyplakov is "the exact type of player that garners interest from (Habs GM) Kent Hughes," with his size, scoring ability, and age bracket. 

One thing that might offer the Canadiens an edge in signing him, offers Dumont, is that they can offer him a bigger role immediately, perhaps even a top-six forward slot, that the Leafs likely could not (though some offseason reshuffling of the Toronto roster could open things up on that front). 

Toronto is apparently not the only divisional rival with interest in Tsyplakov, as the Boston Bruins also have also had their eyes on him. But they, too, would not be able to offer him the sizeable role that Montreal could.