One Toronto Maple Leafs player isn't happy and has taken significant measures to show general manager Kyle Dubas how serious he is about his frustration... It has been reported that Leafs prospect Martins Dzierkals has bolted for the Kontinental Hockey League after he reportedly demanded a traded from Toronto but his request was denied.
It is believed that Dzierkals did not like being sent to the ECHL last year, and didn’t want to play there again this year. To make things worse, his new contract offer from the Marlies only allowing him to play on the American Hockey League level this upcoming season, and the kid had enough.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Dzierkals will play for Dinamo Riga this season, and the young player had a lot to say on the pressure he is placing on the Leafs, following their refusal to move him.
"I have a contract for four seasons and still can’t talk to other NHL clubs. This could happen after this season. I also asked for a change because I was not satisfied with the terms of the contract, but the [Leafs] said that they liked me and did not want a change."
"During the negotiations for my next contract, there weren’t any guarantees that the same thing wouldn’t happen to me again. The team front office said the same - that I would play in the AHL. I spent some time there but they sent me down. I wasn’t happy with their rules. Eventually, I got tired of waiting, I texted Kyle (Dubas) myself so I could figure things out."
It seems like Dubas did not provide him with the answer he was looking for and Dzierkals ended up back in his hometown. He played in a preseason game with Riga immediately after his signing was announced.
Dzierkals was originally selected in the third round, 68th overall of the 2015 draft, having played for Dinamo’s MHL affiliates HK Riga. After being selected by Toronto, Dzierkals moved to Canada to play for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. The young winger managed record 116 points (45 goals and 71 assists) in 106 regular season games in Canadian major juniors.
However, he failed to put his name on the scoresheet in four games with the Marlies. His trade value was close to nothing, however, Dzierkals still demanded a trade, but failed to get what he wanted. He is now back in the KHL... As of now, Dzierkals’ rights will expire on June 1, 2019, but as he has moved to the KHL, his rights could potentially change status, meaning they will never expire while he is abroad.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press