The Toronto Maple Leafs got some really good news today. Rodion Amirov has landed in Toronto and is working out with the Maple Leafs’ staff.
Why Is This Good News?
This is as good news from a human standpoint as it is from a hockey perspective. Earlier this year, the Maple Leafs had reported that, while doctors were treating an injury that Amirov had suffered, they discovered a tumour. The injury and the tumour were not related. Amirov was then sent to Germany to have the tumour treated. Apparently, it worked.
From a hockey perspective, although it’s a minor issue, Amirov was forced to quit playing hockey while the tumour was being treated. What’s good is that he will have a chance this season.
Amirov Had a Great Perspective on His Illness
Perhaps one of the things in Amirov’s favour was that he held such a positive perspective about his illness. When he was first diagnosed, Amirov shared with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman: “I want to stay positive, and I want people to think positively about me.”
Amirov added that “many other people have their own sicknesses or illnesses. I want to show by example that I can give people hope.”
Injuries Are One Thing, Illness Is Another
Hockey is a tough sport and injuries occur, so Maple Leafs’ fans are used to having players sit out. But to lose a player to a brain tumour is a different deal. It’s a scary deal and it’s good that the young prospect is doing well enough to be in Canada.
Will Amirov Be Playing Soon?
Although his landing in Toronto is a huge positive, it doesn’t mean that Amirov will play any time soon. When he was interviewed last month in Russia, Amirov shared that he hoped to return in November or December. We’ll see.
Obviously, that Amirov isn’t playing hockey for the next few months isn’t problematic in itself. It will take him some time to get himself in shape to continue his career.
Amirov is now 20 years old. He was a first-round draft pick (15th overall) by the Maple Leafs in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. That the treatment worked and that Amirov is healthy enough to begin to work out is a huge positive. It looks as if all the signs are positive and that he’ll be playing soon.
From a hockey point of view, it looks as if Amirov announced is gearing up to play this season.
The Bottom Line – Good News All the Way Around for Amirov
The word a few months ago was that Amirov would play in the KHL this season and then come to Canada for the 2023-24 season. But this news changes that. While I have heard little about his plans, we’ll see how he’s doing after the AHL season begins.
The good news is that he’s in Canada and working with the Maple Leafs. It might have been much worse.