Don't boo Joseph, suggests Sundin, Quinn

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Mats Sundin yesterday called on patrons at the Air Canada Centre to provide Curtis Joseph with a warm reception tomorrow night.

While Joseph's decision to leave Toronto in favour of the Detroit Red Wings after the 2001-02 season left many Maple Leafs fans bitter, Sundin said people should not forget the vital role Joseph played as a Leaf.

"He deserves to be cheered," Sundin said. "He was a big part of this team. He did a lot for this organization."

Should Joseph get the call to start for the Phoenix Coyotes against the Leafs tomorrow, it will be his first NHL game at the Air Canada Centre since May 28, 2002.

That night, the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Leafs 2-1 in overtime, eliminating Toronto from the post-season.

Joseph did return as a Red Wing six months later, but sat on the bench as then-Detroit coach Dave Lewis opted to start Manny Legace.

"He was a great player for us, and I hope that's what people remember when he steps out on the ice," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He was a big reason why (this franchise) went from missing the playoffs to enjoying post-season success."

There were rumblings of a Quinn-Joseph rift after Joseph played just one game for Canada at the 2002 Olympics. But both men told the Toronto Sun last month that they had let bygones be bygones.

"Curtis was one of the finest individuals who ever played for me," Quinn said.


Videos

Photos