Ilya Samsonov makes a save with his glove while doing the splits
Photo credit: Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Real Reason Maple Leafs Ilya Samsonov Lost His Confidence This Season is Revealed

Published January 14, 2024 at 10:27

Ilya Samsonov played terribly this season. He was so bad that he was waived by the Maple Leafs on January 1st and not claimed by any teams. Samsonov was recalled on January 10th after an absence to work on his game. It was a mental reset of course.

Samsonov has really fallen off this year and this is likely why

Samsonov was injured to start the year and seemed to never gain his footing back. He had another injury later as he was just seeming to get his game going, and then after that Samsonov completely seemed to forget how to play goalie.

There is likely another known reason for why his play has been so bad and it is psychological and linked to his off-season arbitration. Jeremy Swayman, who was recently named an all-star for the NHL described how the process hurt his game last season.

"After dealing with what I did this summer with arbitration, hearing things that a player should never hear, it feels pretty special to be in this situation"

There have been many cases throughout NHL history where arbitration has completely ruined a goalies career. It can mess with other players too as it is designed to keep a players salary ask down from the NHL teams perspective.

Samsonov talks being waived and how he was working on his game

Samsonov was recalled January 10th and has been working with Toronto's goalie coaches since then. He may start on Sunday, January 14, as the Leafs play the Red Wings.

"You're sad, yeah? But it's nice signal for your brain and your body: Man, you need to wake up and get back on track and working hard as you can."

Samsonov talked about coming back to the team and he could not sound happier"

"I was happy to see everybody in the locker room. Everything's good. Unbelievable. Long time, no see the guys. Seven days is a long time. We're like a family, everybody. The locker room is like your second family."

Samsonov did say he would be ready to play, but it is unknown if/when he will start in the near future.

"Brain is ready. I'm seeing the puck well. I feel really positive. Stay positive all the time and stick (to) working and try to do my best on the ice and in the gym, whatever it is."

As Read On Sportsnet - 'Man, you need to wake up': Samsonov talks being waived by Maple Leafs
January 14   |   1204 answers
The Real Reason Maple Leafs Ilya Samsonov Lost His Confidence This Season is Revealed

Will Samsonov rebound this year?

Yes40033.2 %
No80466.8 %
Latest 10 stories