February 28, 2007
Cost too high for Smyth
TSN reported last night that Edmonton Oilers' general manager Kevin Lowe included the Maple Leafs in his canvassing of clubs who might be interested in Ryan Smyth. But the likely price tag of Alex Steen and a first-rounder would have muted Toronto general manager John Ferguson's response.
Among other deals not completed yesterday included rumours of Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph returning to the Leafs. Joseph badly wants to end his career near his Toronto roots, but just how the soon-to-be 40-year-old would've co-existed with Andrew Raycroft and the message such a trade would have sent to the incumbent No. 1 are only now conjecture.
Ferguson was also asked by reporters about Mats Sundin, who was almost an afterthought at the deadline after speculation early this season the Leafs would try and move him if they were out of the playoffs.
"Not on my end," Ferguson said with a chuckle. "Most teams would inquire; most know what the answer will be. For all that he does for us, that would have to be a substantial deal."
TUCKER TAKES FOUR
Ferguson used his trade deadline press conference to confirm Darcy Tucker has rejoined the team in a four-year deal worth $12 million US. He would have been a free agent July 1 and had a broken foot not occurred, been looking to cash in on a career year.
"I never really entertained the thought (of leaving)," Tucker said.
WELCOME BACK YANIC
Newly acquired Yanic Perreault will notice a couple of familiar faces still lingering around when he enters the Maple Leafs dressing room.
Having most recently played for the Leafs in 2001, Perreault returns to find forwards Mats Sundin, Darcy Tucker and defencemen Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe still decked out in blue and white.
"He's a really good acquisition," McCabe said. "He's a quiet leader who is one of the best faceoff men in the league."
As happy as they were to see Perreault back in Toronto, McCabe and co. also wished the departing Brendan Bell well. Bell, who went to Phoenix with a second-round pick in 2008 for Perreault and a fifth rounder in '08, now gets the chance to play some quality minutes and show he belongs in the NHL.
"Brendan's a great kid and player," McCabe said. "He fell victim to the numbers game here but now he gets a great opportunity to play."