Steen glad he's staying put

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:56 AM ET

You likely would run out of beads on your abacus if you attempted to count the number of teams that inquired about the availability of young Alex Steen.

Just 22 years of age, the second-year Maple Leaf was a sought-after commodity prior to Tuesday's trade deadline. His many suitors included the Florida Panthers, who reportedly asked for him as part of a potential Gary Roberts deal.

Fortunately for Steen, no one appreciated him more than general manager John Ferguson, who decided that the Leafs would be best served if the speedy forward remained in blue and white.

"It's very flattering," Steen said of the interest he attracted on the trade market. "At the same time, this whole trade thing is not something I think about."

Steen first became aware he was a wanted man during the summer of 2006 when his name started coming up in various reports suggesting the Edmonton Oilers wanted him along with defenceman Tomas Kaberle in a highly-rumoured swap for defenceman Chris Pronger.

"I think the (Pronger) thing was the first time I heard things," Steen said. "I got a call from my agent and started to get nervous.

"I was in Sweden at the time and didn't know what to expect. I would work out but, after I finished that, I had too much time to think about what might be going on."

With a new wife and infant son to look after, Steen is glad to be staying right where he is.

"My family loves living in Toronto," he said. "I don't think about going anywhere else. I just think about how I can get better as a Leaf."

After a slow start to the season, Alex, son of former NHLer Thomas Steen, has come on to score 13 goals and add 17 assists.

"I know a lot of people in the organization have high hopes for me," he said. "Well, so do I.

"No one puts more pressure on me than I do."


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