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NHL rumors: Mike Komisarek expected to be bought out by Leafs

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Mike Komisarek played only four games with the Leafs this season. (USATSI)
Mike Komisarek played only four games with the Leafs this season. (USATSI)

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The Toronto Maple Leafs started the offseason in earnest over the weekend, trading for goalie Jonathan Bernier and having rumors pop up about other potential trades, including Dion Phaneuf. All that was missing was a potential amnesty buyout.

Now we have that talk, too. Per Darren Dreger of TSN, the Maple Leafs are expected to use one of their two buyouts on defenseman Mike Komisarek.

This would qualify as a non-surprise. Perhaps it would be more surprising if the Leafs had decided not to use their get-out-of-jail-free card on Komisarek. He only has one season remaining on his contract, but it carries a $3.575 million cap hit. While the Leafs aren't in apparent danger with the cap, they do have a lot of players to get under contract for next season yet so all the room helps.

Besides, it's not as if the Leafs would find Komisarek indisposable or anything. He played only four games with the Leafs this season and seven down with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL. He doesn't fit into the big club's plans, and he has a pretty big cap hit. So why not go down this road?

Perhaps the only surprise might be that it is Komisarek who is the candidate instead of John-Michael Liles. He has three more seasons at $3.875 million. Tt is possible that could happen yet, too; the Leafs have two amnesty buyouts.

Komisarek played in 45 games in 2011-12 and had just one goal and four assists. He was never a huge points guy -- his career high was 19 with the Canadiens in 2006-07 -- but his defense had become a sore spot. With his cap hit, he was an easy target for wrath. Add in some injury issues as well, and a buyout seems like the best end for everybody at this point.

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