Daniel Winnik takes long way home to Maple Leafs

New Leafs forward Daniel Winnik will compete for a bottom-six role on the team this year. (Kelvin...

New Leafs forward Daniel Winnik will compete for a bottom-six role on the team this year. (Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports/Files)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:54 PM ET

TORONTO - Daniel Winnik took the long way home to Toronto and the Maple Leafs during Labour Day weekend.

He, his girlfriend and trusted English bulldog Mario made the three-day drive in a Range Rover from his last posting in Anaheim, arriving on Monday night. Then it was right on the ice on Tuesday morning with his new teammates and Marlies farmhands for an informal workout.

The Mississauga-born Winnik, a grad of the old Wexford Raiders as a junior, was the last part of general manager Dave Nonis’ summer signing blitz. He looked fresh enough for having just covered 3,479 kilometres.

“My year in the minors, I drove back from San Antonio by myself,” Winnik recalled. “We timed this drive out to 13 hours every day. We stopped in Rawlins, Wyo., and Quad Cities, Iowa. Saw a lot of flat land in Nebraska. Sadly, we drove through the beautiful part of Wyoming at night.

“The dog made it all right. He slept basically the whole way.”


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