If you were in a foreign country where you didn’t speak the language well, were away from your entire family and had just undergone emergency surgery to repair slashed tendons in your wrist, it might be a little overwhelming. That’s why Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM Kyle Dubas stayed with injured forward Ilya Mikheyev in New Jersey while he recovered from surgery. As Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports however, Dubas’ goodwill may actually have a positive impact on player acquisition down the road. Dan Milstein of Gold Star Hockey, the agent for Mikheyev and many other Russian players, explained to Johnston that he has already told his other clients of how the situation was handled:
The agent has KHL free agents currently drawing significant NHL interest for next season and has made sure they’re all aware of the humanity the Leafs exhibited with Mikheyev, telling them: “You should know how Toronto took care of this particular accident.”
While that obviously doesn’t guarantee the Maple Leafs will get any sort of discount down the road, it certainly can’t hurt when they’re trying to convince the KHL’s top talent to come over to North America. The team will also have a negotiation with Mikheyev at some point, given that he will be a restricted free agent this summer.
- The Los Angeles Kings have assigned minor league defenseman Markus Phillips to the Guelph Storm of the OHL, sending him back despite already having played in the ECHL and AHL this season. The 20-year old will re-join the Storm for the rest of his overage season, another addition to a team that is already 21-8-5 this season. Phillips was selected 118th overall in 2017 and had six points in 20 games for the Fort Wayne Komets this season.
- Alex Stalock has been fined $2,000 for embellishment, following an incident that occurred against the Winnipeg Jets on December 21st. It was the second cited case of diving by Stalock, following an earlier incident against the Pittsburgh Penguins that incurred a warning from the league. Though it obviously isn’t a lot of money, embellishment comes with escalating fines that eventually are levied against the coach as well—something that never helps a player’s career.