December 15, 2010
Aulie was 'bag of pucks'
By STEVE MacFARLANE, QMI Agency
Keith Aulie was the only prospect thrown into the blockbuster deal.
He didn’t figure his involvement would ever influence people’s views on who won it.
“I was the bag of pucks,” Aulie said Wednesday at the Saddledome in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first appearance in Calgary since the acquisition of Dion Phaneuf, Freddie Sjostrom and Aulie last January.
Aulie was the only prospect that switched teams, and could be a prized pickup long-term.
The 21-year-old defenceman filled in on a banged-up Leafs blueline this season and has shown he’s already nearly ready for full-time work in the league.
He’s nothing flashy, but the 6-foot-5, 217-pounder hasn’t been prone to make many mistakes.
His addition only further tips the scale in favour of the Leafs when you look at the deal.
Instead of the Flames receiving a young, promising prospect — be it on the blueline or the forward ranks — GM Darryl Sutter coughed one up in Aulie, on top of his blue-chip banger Phaneuf.
His name may not have been known in Toronto prior to the deal, but now the former world junior rearguard (Aulie played alongside Buffalo Sabres stud Tyler Myers in the 2009 tournament) has Leafs fans excited about the future of their blueline.
He’s excited about being in the NHL right now, even though he could be returned to the AHL in the near future.
It’s too bad for Flames fans the first time they’ll get to see him in the big league will come against them Thursday night when the Leafs play their team.