If you’ve got a bit of a lead foot, make note: Finland isn’t kidding when it comes to speeding fines. Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Leo Komarov found that out the hard way.
According to Helsingin Sanomat, a Finnish news outlet, Komarov was fined more than 35,000 euros (roughly $40,000USD) in an Espoo District Court Friday for two fines of speeding and two fines of fraud. Komarov, 28, said he would have to “digest” the ruling before deciding whether or not to appeal.
Komarov ran into the legal trouble in Finland in July 2014 when he was pulled over travelling well above the speed limit twice in the same month. When Komarov was pulled over, he was reportedly travelling anywhere from 25-35 kilometers per hour over the speed limit in both instances. Komarov was asked to report his income as traffic fines can be based off of income in Finland — the more you make, the stiffer the penalty. In both instances, he told police he had no income.
At the time, Komarov was between contracts with the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow and the Maple Leafs, but while he wasn’t earning anything, his income was still substantially more than what he reported. According to Sanomat, Komarov was supposed to report all earnings over a longer period of time rather than simply his current pay. That would have included his pay from Moscow and what he was set to earn overseas with the Maple Leafs.
When the charges were first made public, there were some reports (http://www.hs.fi/urheilu/a1435806832571) that the traffic violations and fraud charges could result in upwards of six months in jail. Komarov, however, has not been sentenced to any jail time.
It’s not the first time an NHL player has been hit with a massive fine in Finland, as Teemu Selanne was forced to pay a 39,000 euro fine in 2000 for reckless driving.
Komarov had the most successful campaign of his NHL career in 2014-15. In 68 games with the Maple Leafs, he scored eight goals and 26 points and was a bright spot for the club as a depth winger. He also suited up for the Finnish World Championship squad in 2015, scoring two goals and three points in seven games.