Mike Komisarek just wants to play hockey again.
Whether it is with the Maple Leafs, another NHL team or with the Toronto Marlies, it does not matter.
“He initiated it,” general manager David Nonis said of defenceman’s decision to waive his no-movement clause.
“Our last conversation, he said he wanted to play and be in a position where he is ready to play. He wanted to get in game situations and I have to give him a lot of credit for it. He could have said he was going to play it out this year and worry about it later. He has had a very positive outlook, and if he does clear, he is very excited about getting back. He has talked about helping our young kids and getting his own game as honed as he can.”
Komisarek has not played since Feb. 2 and was a healthy scratch for 21 consecutive games before he was placed on waivers on Wednesday. Komisarek did not play in a 4-2 Leafs win against Tampa Bay, and if he clears waivers at noon on Thursday, he will report to the Marlies.
Nonis acknowledged he has tried to trade Komisarek, but the 31-year-old’s inactivity and $4.5-million US salary cap hit next season have got in the way.
“I have had teams talk to us about him, but the fit has not made sense money-wise,” Nonis said. “But I believe Mike is an NHL defenceman. It may not be a situation where it works here, ultimately, but I don’t think you have seen the last of him in the league, either.
“I know what Mike is thinking, which is probably, ‘Who wants to pick up a player who has not played a game in a long time?’ He has worked very hard in practice. A lot of players don’t tend to think that way (to waive the no-movement clause). They don’t think it is the right thing to do. I have to give him a lot of credit for how he approached it.”
Does Nonis think Komisarek will get claimed by another team?
“You never know,” Nonis said. “I don’t know what is going to happen. Given we have been in a position to trade him for a while, I would not be surprised if he cleared. But if he doesn’t, he is excited to get playing, whether it is here or at Ricoh (Coliseum).”