Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/03/05 at 10:32 AM ET
After his older brother was killed in a car accident this past summer, Jeff O'Neill knew he'd be spending this season in Toronto. He just didn't know whether it would be as an NHL player. That O'Neill returns to North Carolina tonight for the first time as a member of the Maple Leafs is something for which he'll be eternally grateful. "If I didn't come here, I probably wouldn't have played this year," O'Neill said. "I'm very thankful." The man responsible for the move was Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, who likely could have received more than the third-round pick he got from the Leafs for O'Neill, but didn't put him on the open market after the grief-stricken player and his family asked for a one-way ticket home
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