Marchenko inked a three-year contract with CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, Igor Eronko of Sport-Express reports. Marchenko went unclaimed off waivers, which fantasy owners should have seen coming, considering he had already announced his intention of heading to Russia. The fact that the blueliner was willing to commit to three seasons away from the NHL does come as a surprise, however. Given he managed just eight points in 41 outings last year -- split between Toronto and Detroit -- it may not be worth it to stash Marchenko away until he (potentially) returns to North America.
Marchenko will head to the KHL next season after being placed on unconditional waivers Monday, James Mirtle of The Athletic reports. Marchenko was likely going to be watching from the press box more often than not this season. Combined with a $1.45 million cap hit, the Leafs obviously felt it wasn't worth it to retain the blueliner -- who they picked up off waivers last season. With the announcement he intends to play in the KHL, it is unlikely any NHL club will want to snatch him off the waiver wire.
Marchenko was designated for waivers by Toronto on Monday, according to agent Dan Milstein. This could just be a procedural move to allow the Leafs the ability to move Marchenko up and down between the NHL and AHL. However, it could also be linked to his $1.45 million cap hit as Toronto is already expected to rely on long-term injured reserve to stay below the cap. A statement is expected to be released Tuesday, which should clarify the situation and what it means for the blueliner's future with Auston Matthews & Co.
Marchenko continues to see sporadic game time with the Leafs. His time with the Buds has been a couple games dressed, then a couple games scratched. All told, Marchenko has played 11 games with the Leafs and tallied a goal and an assist. His sporadic playing time makes it difficult to even consider him as a fantasy option.
Marchenko scored his first goal of the season in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Red Wings. It was sweet justice for the unassuming defender, as he spent his first 110 career games with the Wings. Marchenko is a steady shot blocker, but not much of an offensive force.
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