Veteran duo hopes to stay

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

Not only does Tie Domi want to play for the Maple Leafs next season, but so too do a couple of other of the club's unrestricted free agents, Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk.

However, whether they are willing to take big pay cuts to do so remains to be seen. But it's also true that whether they may have to is unknown.

"Absolutely," Rick Curran, the agent for Roberts and Nieuwendyk, said when asked about his clients' desire to return to Toronto. "That's why they came back to Toronto, with the intent of being Maple Leafs. But having said that, much of the decision will be up to (Leafs general manager John Ferguson)."

LESS MONEY

Had players not been locked out by the owners, wiping out the 2004-05 season, Roberts would have been paid $3.75 million US, and Nieuwendyk $3 million. Given a salary cap of $39 million, it's not clear what Roberts and Nieuwendyk could sign for, but signing deals for less money seems probable. Roberts turned 39 in May and Nieuwendyk will be 39 in September.

"I have a good understanding of what they contributed to our success in the past and I look forward to talking to them," Ferguson said in reference to Domi, Roberts and Nieuwendyk.

Though it may not be until Aug. 1 at the latest that free agents can be signed, it's thought the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Florida Panthers have shown an interest in Roberts.


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