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LEAFS LOAN DEFENSEMAN TO JOKERIT HELSINKI OF THE KHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on Saturday that they have agreed to loan 26-year-old Finnish defenseman Mikko Lehtonen to the KHL's Jokerit Helsinki, where he enjoyed much success last season, recording 49 points in 60 games.

Lehtonen had signed with the Leafs earlier this year for $925K on a one-year deal. However, with the start of the 2020-21 season delayed until December 4, 2020, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas does not want to risk a lengthy stretch where Lehtonen doesn't play in North America, hence the defenseman being loaned to his former KHL club to play big, meaningful minutes until at least the start of the next NHL season.



The club took similar precautions with big winger Yegor Korshkov earlier this month, allowing the former KHLer, who spent last season in North America with the AHL Toronto Marlies, to return to the KHL where he will see plenty of action.

The KHL's pre-season is currently under way, so the timing is right for Lehtonen to jump right in and stay active during what may have otherwise been a lengthy break from hockey.

MIKE ARMENTI
AUGUST 1, 2020  (10H21)
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