Let me set the scene:Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens, November 20th, 2010. It's the third period. Montreal are leading with 12 minutes of the period remaining. Montreal have 10 seconds remaining on a a power play. The puck is at the blue line with Hamrlik. A soft, innocuous pass along the boards by Hamrlik passes through the stick of Andre Kostitsyn, and Mike Komisarek goes to retrieve it. The time remaining now is just seven seconds.
Now, at this moment in time, I am just another Toronto fan, with an ambivalent attitude towards Mike Komisarek. Sure, he hasn't been a dominant force in the team, but who really has?. His injuries reduced his games to 34 the previous year, and this is only Game 19 of the new season.
It's what Mike Komisarek does at this junction, that must make Brian Burke feel like his master plan is nothing more than mirage.
Komisarek does what all players know not to do in this situation: He makes a blind, cross ice pass to a completely unmarked Mike Cammalleri, who scores what turns out to be the game-winning goal.
When Mike Komisarek was signed in 2009, Burke was quick to add, "He’s a respected competitor in this league, and we know that he will bring his hard-nosed approach to our team on a consistent basis."
That, however, is not what Burke is receiving.
What's unbelievable is that this individual was signed to a $22 million contract over five years. This is an individual who is on track, since joining Toronto, roughly declining his production in the following categories
Ice Time: 25 percent
+/-: -7 compared to an average +5 in Montreal
PIM: 25 percent
Hits: 32 percent
Blocks: 25 percent
What is awful about this is that the numbers don't do this review justice. On the ice, Komisarek is a slow, awkward-moving defenceman. At 29 years of age, he has reached his peak with regards to skill level and experience. With this kind of production at this pay grade, he offers Toronto absolutely nothing.
When Komisarek made that pass, my friend, a Montreal fan, could not stop laughing. He said, "You poor dumb bastards. We got the best of him and even that wasn't really good. We then shipped him down the 401, to you guys. You poor miserable, Maple Leafs."