The NHL’s playing season waiver period opened up today at noon, allowing teams to begin putting players through the wire in order to clear their contracts off the roster, and/or assign them to lower-level teams in their organizational umbrella. The Toronto Maple Leafs wasted no time in taking advantage of this, waiving forward Kalle Kossila just minutes later.
Kalle Kossila (TOR) and J-S Dea (BUF) are on NHL waivers today.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 28, 2020
If Kossila’s name isn’t super familiar to you, that’s understandable. The 27-year-old centre has played just 12 games in the organization since signing on July 24th, 2019 – all of which came with the Marlies. Brought in to be a bubble-aged player who could add scoring touch at the AHL level and be a potential call up, an injury in his second preseason game with the Leafs led to post-concussion symptoms that took over most of his 2019/20 season.
In the dozen games he did end up playing with the Marlies, he wasn’t quite up to speed – but still contributed with three goals and three assists. Needless to say, it wasn’t the year that the Maple Leafs were hoping for.
As mentioned in my taxi squad breakdown from last week, I wouldn’t expect Kossila to return to the Marlies this season, though stranger things have happened. On December 10th, Kossila was loaned to German DEL squad Red Bull München, with whom he has played two games since. The late loan date and lack of a return to North America would imply that he will likely play out the season there. It’s possible that he makes the trip back over should the DEL season finish before the AHL season, but it’s not a situation that I would hold my breath over.
With this in mind, one would expect him to clear waivers with no issue. He’ll be far from the last Leaf to go through this process over the next few weeks – expect a wave of AHL-bound players to go through the process in the coming days, even if they aren’t assigned to the Marlies right away, followed by the Taxi Squad talents being waived closer to the deadline to discourage teams from claiming them and starting a late quarantine process.