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Otto Leskinen to start 2020-21 season in Finland

The Canadiens loaned the defenceman out.

AHL: JAN 22 Syracuse Crunch at Laval Rocket Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have announced they they have loaned defenceman Otto Leskinen out to Kalpa of the Liiga in Finland to start the 2020-21 season.

Leskinen, like so many other players, are in an awkward spot. He wasn’t named to the Canadiens play-in roster, and with the NHL and AHL seasons not expected to start until December at the earliest, those players would have nowhere to play in North America.

Players in Europe are in a better position as they are able to stay where they are and stay in shape while waiting for North American hockey to start again. The question becomes more complex for players who are based in North America, as sending them overseas is not as easy especially in the current climate.

The Canadiens can follow this path with other players who remain in Europe. It should be noted that Alexander Romanov has said that after the Canadiens season is over, he will return to Russia.