Ilya Samsonov's contract projection likely means he's done in Toronto

Ryan Smitheram
May 17, 2024  (9:06)

Ilya Samsonov would like to return to Toronto on a long-term deal
Photo credit: Maple Leafs/X

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving seemingly indicated that Ilya Samsonov's time with the Leafs is over, but we could see him back on a cheap contract once again.

At his year-end press conference, Treliving didn't outright say that Samsonov's time in Toronto was over but his support of Joseph Woll indicated that Woll would be the starter next season as long as he is able to stay healthy.
While Woll had issues staying healthy, Samsonov had issues with consistency this season and, in January, was placed on waivers. During the season, he had four months with a save percentage well below .900, which is not a recipe for success. Although the second half of the season was far better for him, for the second straight playoffs, he saw himself benched in favour of Woll.
Two seasons ago, Samsonov signed a 1-year 'prove it' deal with the Leafs after the Washington Capitals chose not to qualify the then 25-year-old. Last summer, he and the Leafs engaged in extension talks, but with the Leafs not willing to commit long-term, the two sides went to arbitration where Samsonov was awarded a 1-year, $3.55M deal which the Leafs accepted.
During his exit interview, Samsonov expressed his desire to stay in Toronto, but is also looking for a long-term deal to provide some stability to him and his family.
Based on his performance this past season, Evolving Hockey projected that Samsonov will likely have to settle for another 1-year deal in the neighbourhood of $2.7M, which is a significant discount from last season.
If the Leafs are unable to acquire a true number one and/or veteran goalie to support and challenge Woll, Samsonov may be the secondary option based on his projection. Evolving Hockey also noted that his average contract length and salary was 3-years and $4M, something the Leafs likely would not want to commit to.
The goaltending market is not exactly something to drool over this off-season so Samsonov will have plenty of suitors if he truly wants more than another 1-year deal from the Leafs.
17 MAI   |   340 ANSWERS
Ilya Samsonov's contract projection likely means he's done in Toronto

Would you be happy with Samsonov on another 1-year deal?

Yes, at least we know what we have7522.1 %
No, he was way too inconsistent last season26577.9 %
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