The Toronto Maple Leafs recalled forward Nikita Soshnikov on Monday after his five-game conditioning stint in the AHL came to an end, general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters, according to The Athletic's Jonas Siegel.
Despite the call-up, Soshnikov will remain on injured reserve while he practices with the Leafs, thus delaying an inevitable key decision since the team is already at the maximum roster size.
Lamoriello is no stranger to finding loopholes in the system - he has a history of making contracts disappear - but he isn't breaking any rules in this scenario.
"There's no illegality to this," he said, per Siegel. "We're not doing anything that isn't the normal process."
According to Cap Friendly, Collective Bargaining Agreement 13.9 states that a club is able to recall a player following a conditioning stint and keep him on IR if the team and its doctors deem he isn't yet fit to play.
Once Soshnikov is cleared to play - whenever that may be - the Leafs will be forced to make a roster move.
The 24-year-old has only skated in three games with the Leafs this year, and has failed to register a point. In 19 games with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, he has seven goals and 10 assists.