Mogilny returns to Jersey

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

Former Maple Leafs Curtis Joseph and Alex Mogilny found new homes late last night and the Vancouver Canucks might have beaten out the Leafs for free-agent winger Anson Carter.

Joseph, who was mulling over an offer from the Phoenix Coyotes as reported in yesterday's Toronto Sun, took what's believed to be a one-year offer to join Wayne Gretzky's team.

"There will be an announcement in Phoenix (today)," agent Don Meehan said.

The Joseph camp was no doubt hoping the Leafs would have a change of heart over the past year with Ed Belfour, but general manager John Ferguson is sticking with the 40-year-old and his history of back problems.

Although Coyotes starter Brian Boucher set a modern-day NHL record with five consecutive shutouts in 2003-04, he had a poor finish to the season. That could open the door for the 38-year-old Joseph.

Meanwhile, Mogilny signed a $7-million US, two-year contract to return to the Devils -- three years after he left New Jersey for the Leafs.

The Devils have been under the gun to replace the lost punch of Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer. Mogilny, who had 43 goals for them in 2000-01 and a helped New Jersey win a Stanley Cup the year before that, is coming off hip surgery last year.

"We're 100% comfortable that he is 100% healthy," Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said. "If there's any one player capable of breaking a game open at any given time, he certainly is that."

While Carter's agent, Pat Brisson, said he'd had "some conversations" with Ferguson about Carter playing in his hometown, Toronto only has an estimated cap space of $3 million. There wouldn't have been enough to get Carter as well as filling out the 23-man roster and keeping a cushion of $1-million-plus in case of injuries.

The Canadian Press reported last night that the Canucks are expected to sign the Agincourt native to a $1-million, one-year deal.

"We hope to have something done in the next 24 hours," Brisson told the Sun yesterday.

In other news, Meehan shot down a rumour that the Leafs are investigating his client, unrestricted free-agent defenceman Scott Lachance, who last played with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

When Ferguson was asked if his strategy now is to wait out antsy free agents and get them at a bargain price, he said "that may well happen."

He also said he would consider a trade in the right circumstance. With a number of offensive defencemen on the roster, there is speculation Ken Klee, Aki Berg or Tomas Kaberle could be moved to make room for a physical defenceman, as well as clear a spot for Carlo Colaiacovo to move up. A trade could simply create more cap room.

Meanwhile, Leafs forward Nathan Perrott did not accept his qualifying offer prior to the deadline on Monday, but said he has no doubt he will re-sign. Perrott would like to avoid a two-way contract, one that would pay him much less than the NHL minimum of $450,000 if he plays in the minors.

"I'll be signing with the Leafs, it's just a matter of getting something done," Perrott said. "They gave me a great chance a couple of years ago and I want to stay here."

Ferguson concurred, though he predicted talks with defenceman Karel Pilar, who is in a similar situation, "might go on a little longer".

- With files from Terry Koshan


Videos

Photos

Canoe Top Headlines