Short deal for Stajan

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Matt Stajan didn't get the whopping 15-year deal landed by Rick DiPietro earlier this week.

But a kid can dream, can't he?

"In a perfect world, who wouldn't be happy with a deal like (DiPietro's)?" Stajan said last night. "I think every Toronto boy who grew up a Leafs fan would want something like that with the Leafs."

Stajan laughed at the thought of getting a lifetime pact with the Leafs similar to the one given to DiPietro by the unpredictable New York Islanders.

"It's fun to think about but it's never going to happen," Stajan said. "I don't think you'll see that in pro sports again.

"Sure I want to be a Leaf for the rest of my career. We'll see what happens. For now I'm just happy I'll be around for two more years."

Stajan is signed, sealed and delivered in time for the start of training camp today after agreeing to a two-year pact worth a reported $1.75 million US. The young forward is expected to be paid $800,000 this season and $950,000 in 2007-08.

Last season, while recording 15 goals and 12 assists in 80 games, Stajan made $805,600.

Though he was confident a deal would be reached in time for camp, Stajan acknowledged talks went down to the wire.

"I was never really worried, but we did push things a little bit,"he said. "Still, at no point did I really think I would miss camp. I'm really happy. Toronto is where I want to be."

Injuries to Eric Lindros and Jason Allison allowed Stajan to get increased ice time from then-coach Pat Quinn late last season. The Stajan-Alex Steen-Jeff O'Neill line flourished in the closing weeks, allowing the Leafs to make a late run that fell just short of a post-season berth.

"It's up to the coaches to decide who I play with or if I play centre or the wing," Stajan said. "I've been told Paul Maurice will reward hard work, and that's what I plan on doing."


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