December 1, 2010
Leafs just happy they have jobs
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - As an NHL player who lived under ownership uncertainty in two NHL cities, Colby Armstrong is thrilled that someone might be offering $1.3 billion for the right to be his boss. Whether they stay the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Rogers Cable Leafs, somebody cares.
“There have been a few places where there are rumours of the team moving and bankruptcy, the whole deal,” the ex-Pittsburgh Penguin and Atlanta Thrasher said Wednesday. “I’ve been in a few different things in just the couple of teams I’ve been on. To come to a place that’s obviously stable and one of the best places to play in the whole world for hockey, it’s a pretty good feeling.”
That said, Armstrong likely wouldn’t know a MLSEL board member if he tripped over one and all he cares about the reported bid by Rogers Communications is whether his TV will still work.
“I wish it was me (with that money),” he laughed. “That’s pretty cool I guess. They (Rogers) would be pretty much running the whole city, the whole sports entertainment stuff. I’d take that any day.”
Former Blackhawk Kris Versteeg can tell his grandchildren he played when that team was run by the late Bill Wirtz, the last of the old-school owners who made all the decisions himself.
“He was there just as I was traded and was still alive during the year I went up and down from the farm,” Versteeg said. “Our Rockford AHL team ended up going to his wake. When you are a single owner it’s (different). But the only thing I can do is really focus on playing and the business side can take care of the business side.”
Versteeg was another who couldn’t tell the Bay St. players in this rumoured bid without a program.
“As a team it doesn’t really matter to us, outside of it’s their product on the ice and that they really like their product. We all enjoy playing here, we’re very lucky to be playing for them and they treat us great.”
Others at the Leafs’ practice at the MasterCard Centre were completely in the dark when asked about the Leafs possibly changing hands. Ever-polite Swedish defenceman Carl Gunnarsson almost apologized for not being better informed so he could answer the question.
“I will have to look into that this afternoon,” he promised.