Off the wire last night...
John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday evening that the hockey club has acquired defenceman Brian Leetch and a conditional draft choice from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Max Kondratiev, forward Jarkko Immonen, Toronto's first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft and the team's second-round pick in 2005.
The Leafs needed an upgrade on the blue line and this is exactly that. The key to this deal is the Leafs hold on to blue-chippers like Carlo Colaiacovo and Alexander Steen and don't give up anyone on their active roster. Brian Leetch, 36, has played 57 games for the New York Rangers this season collecting 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) with 24 penalty minutes. He ranks fifth in the NHL in average ice time (26:14) and 10th among NHL defencemen in points. Leetch leads the team in powerplay points (19) and average ice time as well as leading all team defencemen in goals, assists, points and shots (165). He's a very nice addition to the blue and white.
Prior to Nicklas Lidstrom winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for Detroit a couple of years back, Leetch was the answer to one of my favourite trivia questions. "Who is the only non-Canadian to with the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the NHL Playoffs? The answer, of course, was Brian Leetch.
For updates on all the NHL trading action as we approach the trade deadline, visit TSN's Trade Deadline page.