Leafs GM discusses the arbitration process with Ilya Samsonov and reveals how both sides are feeling about the deal

Published August 26, 2023 at 11:47

For the Maple Leafs, the summer wasn't ideal in many aspects, but now, as we approach September and everything is in the rearview mirror, it's tough to look back on the summer and think that it wasn't a successful first summer for new Leafs GM Brad Treliving.

One of the more interesting occurrences this summer was the handling of the Ilya Samsonov negotiations and subsequent arbitration process. The Leafs and Samsonov tried in earnest, according to Treliving, to get a deal done that worked for both sides to avoid arbitration. In the end, a deal could not be reached and so the arbitration hearing went on as planned, with the result being a 1-year, $3.55M deal for the young star goaltender.

This week, Treliving met with the media to discuss his summer. He touched on the Matthews signing, he touched on where things are currently at with William Nylander and he also discussed the goaltending situation - which included Samsonov's arbitration hearing. Treliving had plenty to say about the process, ultimately concluding that he's happy with how everything went throughout the process.

"I think sometimes there's some myths with arbitration, that it's this big all-out war and you stand up and throw rocks at each other for 3 hours.. The reason it got to arbitration is we couldn't get a deal done. The idea is you try to get a deal that works for both sides. We couldn't do that through negotiation, not for a lack of trying on both sides. So you go through process of arbitration and we're happy with the process."

Treliving also stated that he and Samsonov attempted to keep everything as light-hearted as they could during arbitration and have maintained solid lines of communication before, during and after the hearing. He doesn't believe there is any ill will on the Samsonov side of things and he also communicated that the Leafs don't harbour any ill will toward the Samsonov camp.

"I said to Ilya as we were going in, 'you know, it's a little bit unique that the first time you meet your goaltender it's at the courthouse' and so we kind of joked about that. But you try to educate quickly with Ilya that this is just the business side of it and we try to conduct our business professionally. So, we had a good chat before, we had a good chat after, we've had many chats since. I don't think anybody should worry about any arbitration scabs or scars lingering. Part of the process, we're through it and got that behind us and I'm excited to watch him in this season."

Now, with the full focus being on training camp and the season ahead, both Samsonov and the Leafs will look to build on a successful 2022-23 season and, hopefully, carry over some of that success into 2023-24.
August 26   |   445 answers
Leafs GM discusses the arbitration process with Ilya Samsonov and reveals how both sides are feeling about the deal

Will Ilya Samsonov stay with the Leafs beyond this season or do you think he's going to go to free agency next summer?

Sammy will stay with the Leafs15534.8 %
He'll test free agency19142.9 %
Too early to say9922.2 %
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