Leafs, Rangers inquire on CuJo's return
1/12/2008 7:25:38 PM
Sources tell TSN both the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers have made last minute inquiries into Curtis Joseph's plan to return to the NHL.
New York's Henrik Lundqvist allowed six goals on 18 shots in a 6-2 Rangers loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
Lundqvist has struggled of late going 2-5-2 in his last nine games after impressively recording six shutouts in his first 29 games.
Toronto's interest may speak to the uncertainty of Vesa Toskala's health, or the potential of a Raycroft trade that would make room for Joseph's veteran presence.
On Friday, sources said Joseph had narrowed the field to two teams, the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks. However, late calls from the two Eastern Conference clubs has slowed the 40 year olds decision as to where he intends to resume his career but he's expected to make his decision in the next two days.
Its believed Flames coach Mike Keenan reached out to Joseph this week to acknowledge the checkered past between he and Joseph was just that, the past.
In the mid-90's, Keenan, as general manager of the St Louis Blues orchestrated a number of big-name trades that led to the departure of such Blues fan favorites as Brendan Shanahan and Curtis Joseph.
Joseph was dealt to Edmonton in 1995, a team who coincidentally expressed great interest in Joseph's return to the Oilers prior to the start of this season as well.
Similar to the Flames, the San Jose Sharks are looking for insurance, a veteran presence to take some of the heat off starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, the only NHL goalie to start every game this season.
Sources say Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Ottawa also expressed interest in Joseph, with the Senators a highly attractive fit for the veteran. However, sources say the Senators have not been willing to make a play and unless they come in at the last minute, Joseph will be heading west.