Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/17/06 at 10:07 PM ET
The Toronto Maple Leafs were closing in on a deal with centre Michael Peca after meeting with the unrestricted free agent and his camp Monday, a source told The Canadian Press. The Leafs and Peca have been courting each other for well over a week with both camps agreeing Toronto is a good fit for the 11-year NHL centre.continued added 6:20am Tuesday, from the Globe and Mail,
As for Peca, he will make an excellent fit with the Leafs. While he did not have a great regular campaign with the Oilers last season, with 23 points in 71 games, Peca was a force in their run to the Stanley Cup final, centring what was often their best line with wingers Fernando Pisani and Raffi Torres. There were a couple of other good reasons for Ferguson to sign Peca. The first is leadership. As one of the most respected players in the league, Peca will help a Leafs dressing room that felt the loss of leaders Gary Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk after the lockout. Another plus is that Peca wants to be here. He is from the area and his wife is from Buffalo, where they spend the off-season. That is why he wanted out of Edmonton and why he was apparently willing to take a substantial trim on last season's salary of $3.99-million.more
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