Ilya Samsonov squares up to the opposition shooter
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Ilya Samsonov leaves close friend and new teammate Lyubuskin high and dry after trade

Published March 2, 2024 at 8:56

Ilya Samsonov's and Ilya Lybushkin are close friends outside of the rink, so when the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Lybushkin (the second time the Leafs have acquired him) the two were obviously quite happy.

Samsonov and Lybushkin's bond goes back to 2014

Samsonov and Lybushkin became close friends in 2014 when both players were forced into getting their American visas in Uzbekistan as the United States had placed sanctions on Russia due to the country's annexation of Crimea.

Back in January when Samsonov's struggles led him to being placed on waivers and subsequently sent down to the AHL, his close friend Lybushkin reached out to check on him:

"[I] texted him. But I also [didn't] want to put pressure on him."

It is clear the two remain close, even when they are on the opposite sides of the United States and Canada.

Lybushkin's return to Toronto brings some laughs and a similar role

Samsonov and Lybushkin messaged the other night when Lybushkin was flying to Toronto.

"[Samsonov said he and Lyubushkin] texted last night, but when the new guy inquired about getting picked up at the airport at 10:30 tonight, Sammy said don't bother, I'll be asleep."

It is a pretty funny scenario to think about but thankfully Lybushkin can afford many means of travel to a hotel.

With the Maple Leafs dealing with injuries on defence Lybushkin will likely play right away.The team lost Mark Giordano last game and is still without John Klingberg, Connor Timmins, and Timothy Liljegren. Once the roster is fully healthy Lybushkin will likely play on the bottom pairing and be relied upon to kill penalties and hold the lead late in the third period.

As Read On Maple Leafs Daily - Samsonov is very close with Lyubushkin, but won't sacrifice his sleep to welcome him to Toronto
March 2   |   1128 answers
Ilya Samsonov leaves close friend and new teammate Lyubuskin high and dry after trade

Will Lybushkin help the Leafs get through the first round this year?

Yes87777.7 %
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