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Maple Leafs’ Mikheyev backs away from trade talk

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Ilya Mikheyev didn’t appear to be a participant bent on rocking the boat.

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In his first interview since reportedly asking the Maple Leafs for a commerce on the finish of final season, the shy Russian, nonetheless mastering English, deked the query and insisted he’s solely seeking to this yr.

That echoed the occasion line on this camp that no matter concern there was that Mikheylev – or agent Daniel Milstein – felt he was under-appreciated by the membership, they’ve moved on.

“I simply loved time with my household,” Mikheyev insisted of how his summer season progressed. “I wish to assist the crew. You wish to win, however everybody remembers final season. (Shedding to Montreal), it’s a very good likelihood for us to develop up.”

The newborn-faced ‘Soup Man’ mentioned he’s engaged on his shot, which could possibly be a deadly combine with each the pace he generates and his energetic stick. However final yr, seven objectives in 61 video games was a fraction of what he might’ve carried out by burying extra probabilities.

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Basic supervisor Kyle Dubas has referred the commerce query and its genus to Milstein, who gained’t remark, whereas Mikheyev had an brisk first day on ice, at left wing on a line with William Nylander and centre Alex Kerfoot. He’s girding for his first full 82-game common season after getting as excessive as 62 his final yr within the KHL.

It’s doable he will get a shot at some stage of the autumn with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, as soon as Matthews can shoot and stickhandle after wrist surgical procedure heals and if Nick Ritchie, Wayne Simmonds or others don’t work out on the highest trio.

“Generally (slumps) occur, it’s life,” the 26-year-old mentioned. “You may rating, however generally you may assist the crew 5-on-5 or on the penalty kill.”

lhornby@postmedia.com

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