On Friday, hockey fans in Zagreb, Croatia, got to see a fantastic Dynamo Moscow, without a doubt the best hockey team outside the NHL. They have everything you need to compete in the NHL: skill, speed and size, combined with 60 minutes of hard work. Their 'pest' is also a fantastic player - Leo Komarov. The Finnish star is doing a bit of everything, including throwing opponents off their game. In last night's 5:0 trashing of Medvescak, he managed to get Hugh Jessiman thrown out of the game on a major penalty for spearing; the former Rangers prospect completely lost his nerves...
'Yeah, you know, they're supposed to know who I am and everything, it was a little stupid of him, I just did my job', said Komarov who leads the team with 28 points in 36 games. After a few words about the KHL, we talked to Leo about his NHL journey.
You played very well for the Leafs last season. Do you see yourself coming back next year?
'Yeah, I'm trying to get back to the NHL and I hope some team will pick me up. But it was my decision to leave (the NHL) too, we'll see if it turns out to be a good decision or not.'
Did you leave because you wanted top six minutes?
'No no no, I'm not that kind of a player, everything was good with the Leafs and I really enjoyed it there. But I didn't get the offer I maybe wanted, and I wanted to play a lot of minutes over here (in the KHL) because it's an Olympic year and I knew that if I came back to Dynamo I'd get a lot of ice time. It's hard to say really, I liked the team, the city, everything – coming back (to Russia) was a hard decision.'
Do you feel that being the top point producer for Dynamo edges you closer to the Finnish squad for the Olympic Games?
'Yeah, of course the points help, but I've been a little lucky, too. You know, when you get a lot of ice time you have to score, and I've been just a little lucky because my game is pretty much like it was today, forechecking hard and stuff like that.'
If you do end up returning to the NHL, would you like it to be with the Leafs?
'Oh yeah, I enjoyed it there, it was probably the best time of my life. I was really happy to play with the Leafs and I hope they are going to take me back, but you never know what's going to happen. They hold my rights until July and I would love to get an offer from the Leafs.'
What was your favorite goal in a Leafs jersey?
'The first one against Montreal. I'll remember that whole my life.'
Do you still watch them this season?
'Yeah, I follow them really closely.'
Do you feel they are missing you, your play in some aspects of their game?
'I don't think so, they have a good team, a good coach and I don't think they miss me but I miss the boys; they're all good friends.'
Your move, Dave Nonis.