The Case for Alexander Barabanov

On Monday Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas spoke about a KHL free agent the Leafs have been rumoured to be pursuing.

Kyle Dubas acknowledges the #leafs interest in KHL free agent Alex Barabanov. They view him as a skilled playmaking winger: “One of the other things we like most about him is his ability to make plays under pressure and … win pucks, protect pucks, when people come after him.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 31, 2020

It doesn’t appear to be a lock for the Leafs though, with Arizona showing interest as well. Barabanov is represented by the same agent as Ilya Mikheyev and Egor Korshkov, so it will be interesting to see if that factors into the decision for Barabanov. He is only eligible for a 1 year ELC, with a maximum value of $925k.
He will also be eligible for up to $2.85m in performance bonuses, which the Leafs have been averse to handing out recently. Only three players under contract with the Leafs for next season have performance bonuses, while eligible players like Rasmus Sandin and Nicholas Robertson did not recieve any.
If the Leafs wish to outbid their competition they will likely need to offer the …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

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