Ilya Samsonov's agent reveals how the netminder feels following arbitration process

Mike Armenti
July 23, 2023  (8:57 PM)

It's a well-known fact that the arbitration process is often a bad time for the players that go through it. With both team and player lobbying for a deal that benefits them more than the other, sometimes things are said that can sour the relationship long after the hearing concludes with an arbitration award.

Unfortunately for the Leafs and Ilya Samsonov, they could not come to terms on a new contract this summer, leading the RFA goaltender to file for salary arbitration in hopes of cashing in on a short-term deal. His ask coming into arbitration was $4.9M, while the Leafs countered with a $2.4M offer. In the end, an arbitrator awarded Samsonov a 1-year deal worth $3.55M - a hefty raise over the $1.8M that he earned with the club last season.
Samsonov's $3.55M award was closer to the Leafs' $2.4M offer than it was to Samsonov's $4.9M ask, so if you feel the need to declare a winner, the deal came in $100K under the halfway mark between the two sides, meaning the Leafs got the better of the arbitrator's decision. As for Samsonov, many have been wondering, following the arbitration process, if the experience changed the way he felt about the Leafs in any way. Well, according to Samsonov's agent on Sunday, Samsonov is not holding anything against the Leafs in this case.
"Ilya plans to be in Toronto very soon, he's anxious to get back and start working out. He was well-schooled (in prepping for the arbitration hearing). There are no hard feelings with the Leafs, now we move forward." - agent Don Meehan on Ilya Samsonov and the Leafs following his arbitration award announcement

It's good to know that Samsonov is ready to just move on from the whole ordeal and turn his attention to the upcoming season. Hopefully this isn't just some PR lip service from a very good agent and that the Leafs and Samsonov can still continue to foster a position relationship throughout the year and into their next set of negotiations.
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