Leafs’ Komarov called for ‘illegal equipment’ in season opener

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov gets caught for wearing his helmet too high and is given a two minute minor for an infraction rarely given.

It took less than 10 minutes for Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov to get caught for violating a rule the NHL has started to crack down on, and has already warned him about in the pre-season.

At the 6:26 mark of the opening period of the very first game of the new NHL season, Komarov was given a two-minute penalty for ‘illegal equipment’ because the referees deemed that his visor was too high up on his helmet.

Komarov was warned on Sept. 19 during a pre-season game that his notorious style of how he wears his visor would no longer be tolerated, but the veteran told Sportsnet that it’s how he has played forever and that he doesn’t feel safe without it.

“The ref told me they changed some rules and to keep it down,” Komarov explained. “I don’t see through it. That’s the reason I’m wearing it up there.

“So it’s not like I’m being cocky or anything. It’s how I play forever. So I took it off, but I don’t feel safe without it, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

The video of the infraction can be seen at the top of this page, where both Komarov and head coach Mike Babcock disagree with the call.

“Some people don’t really like it, like the referees in Europe, so I had to keep it down and try [playing that way before coming to the NHL in 2012],” Komarov said in an interview with the Toronto Sun in 2016. “There’s always stuff you can do to get around it.”

Apparently not this time, Leo.