TORONTO — There is no animosity within the Maple Leafs organization towards Jamal Mayers and Garnet Exelby over their requests to be traded. At least, that’s the official word.
General manager Brian Burke praised the two for requesting a trade in a private and professional manner, though the news resulted in a media frenzy after practice on Thursday.
“Perfectly acceptable in both instances,” said Burke, when asked about Exelby and Mayers. “This is the way we want players to do this.”
As for their teammates, nobody spoke out against the pair, with the exception of coach Ron Wilson, who is worried that their request to be traded might result in a “pity party” and that the pair’s discontent may rub off on some other players.
“It doesn’t bother me. I think everyone has their own opinions and their own rights,” said winger Alexei Ponikarovsky, who has six points in his last five games. “If they want to do that. You can’t prevent them. That’s their decision.”