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Maple Leafs waive underperforming goalie Ilya Samsonov | CBC Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs waived underperforming goalie Ilya Samsonov, a person with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the move. Samsonov would land in the minors if he goes unclaimed on Monday.

Samsonov’s .862 save percentage and 3.94 goals-against average are each the second-worst among goalies with at least 10 appearances. In his most recent action, he allowed six goals on 21 shots Friday in a 6-5 overtime loss to Columbus.

Samsonov acknowledged struggling mentally after he allowed five goals on 19 shots before getting pulled 1:03 into the second period of a 9-3 loss at Buffalo on Dec. 21.

“I need to figure out everything in my head,” Samsonov said. “That’s the first [thing]. It’s not about technique. It’s not about, you know, it’s not about nothing. Just in the head.”

The 26-year-old Russian is 5-2-6 in his second season with Toronto after the Washington Capitals opted not to tender him a restricted free agent offer in the summer of 2022. Samsonov went to arbitration with the Leafs last off-season and was awarded a $3.55 million US contract, $1.15 million of which comes off their salary cap if he’s sent to the minors.

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