Sent down on a long-term conditioning stint, Nikita Soshnikov has played the last five games for the Toronto Marlies, registering five points. No longer waiver-exempt, he was “forced” to be recalled to the Maple Leafs after his time in the AHL.
The stint came to an end yesterday, leading to speculation he’d be… well, somewhere other than the Marlies. It wasn’t clear if he’d make the lineup straight away, or whether they’d be forced to send someone down
Bob McKenzie pretty much summed up the situation here earlier this morning:
Does TOR make a “move” today? Broad definition on move. IIRC, Soshnikov’s AHL stint now over. Need roster spot. Could demote Dermott/Kapanen but big game vs. TB tonite, not optimal. Trade Sosh? Martin? Leivo? Put someone on IR? Some other Lou Lamoriello/Brandon Pridham sorcery?
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) February 12, 2018
But then this happened today:
Nikita Soshnikov has officially been recalled from his AHL conditioning stint by the #leafs. He remains on injured reserve.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 12, 2018
The “injured reserve” line confused most people, seeing as Soshnikov definitely appeared to play in five pro hockey games and be one of the better, if not the best player on the ice.
But despite the confusion, it appears that the Leafs brass doesn’t feel comfortable playing “Sosh” just yet.
Lamoriello says Soshnikov needs to get back into NHL practices once he rejoins the Leafs. "There's no illegality to this. We're not doing anything that isn't the normal process."
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) February 12, 2018
From our friends at CapFriendly, here’s a little primer on why that’s allowed:
CBA 13.9, which talks to LTI Conditioning Loans, explains that the goal of LTI conditioning is solely to determine if the player is fit to play.
If the club & team doctors feel the player is not yet ready at the conclusion of his cond. stint, he can be recalled & remain on IR. https://t.co/4VjtnrWRla
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 12, 2018
He’s featured in just three games for the main NHL club this season, picking up a grand total of zero points. Last year, he played in 56 games, mostly on the fourth line, while putting up 9 points in 56 games.
Also, the moves made this Canucks radio host angry. So there’s that.
It must be nice having friends in the NHL front office #Leafs
— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) February 12, 2018
Fun times coming forward in Toronto!