Joe Nieuwendyk is a Toronto Maple Leaf

Joe Nieuwendyk is a Toronto Maple Leaf, TSN has learned. The unrestricted free agent centre agreed to terms today on the deal with the Maple Leafs. New Jersey Devils and Nieuwendyk’s agent had been talking recently, but were not able to get a deal done, contrary to reports on Monday that he had agreed to terms with the defending Stanley Cup champinos.

Nieuwendyk is expected to earn significantly less than the $5-million he made last season. It’s believed he’s looking for a one year deal worth $3.5-million.

Nieuwendyk, still considered one of the best face-off men in the league, remains a reliable offensive player. He scored 14 goals and dished out 28 assists in 80 games with the New Jersey Devils last year. In 1,113 career games with the Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars and New Jersey Devils, he has tallied 511 goals and 501 assists.

Nieuwendyk has won Stanley Cups with all three teams he has played for (Calgary – 1989, Dallas – 1999, New Jersey – 2003). In 149 career playoff games he has scored 60 goals and assisted on 50 others. He was also a member of the Canadian squad that won gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Nieuwendyk has been a star in the NHL since scoring 51 goals as a Calgary rookie in 1987-88.

92 Responses to Joe Nieuwendyk is a Toronto Maple Leaf

  1. WildWing89 says:

    Yushkevich is very valuble, and would easily replace Svehla. A Zhtnik trade would make them contenders again.

  2. big_booty says:

    While I will agree that to some extent the Leafs did need another center, to think that the signing of Joe Nieuwendyk is the cure for all of their ills is just plain ludicrous.

    Nieuwendyk, for all of his accomplishments and accolades, may still be effective for brief spurts when needed but he is no longer a true second-line center.

    Sure, he wants to play for his favorite childhood team, but if he honestly thinks he can go out on top a la Bourque, Hasek, etc, he needs to seriously re-think what kind of team he’s going to.

    He cannot stay healthy when needed. His better days are far behind him. The team has more dire needs on the blueline than anywhere else.

    To put it in perspective, John Ferguson the younger has a severe case of explosive diarrhea, and is spackling his ass shut with mashed potatoes rather than get rid of all of his useless excrement (read: Marchment, Reichel, Berg, Nolan, etc.)

    Where are Alyn MacAuley and Brad Boyes when you need them?


    Oh, right. The price you pay for opening the “war chest.”

    “It’s amazing what one can do with just some wallpaper, a few throw pillows, and a staple gun.”

  3. OldNord says:

    …would be like the Rangers bringing back Graves, or Canadiens bringing back Stephane Richer.

  4. WeStSiDe says:

    Your posts have gone from hating the Leafs and posting some fact, but you dont even post knowledge anymore, it really shows how biased you can be. It’s ok, you can get through it, just a phase your going through.

  5. Bishop7979 says:

    God I love you Leaf fans and your eternal optimism.

    You sign an aging centerman with suspect knees who between the 92-93 and 00-01 seasons hasnt played more then 70 games, and Yes I know his last two seasons he was pretty healthy but look how his last one ended, anyways you sign him and you think that you’ve uncovered the lost ark that will magically transport you to the land of milk and honey that is the stanley cup finals.

    Look at his point totals since 1994, he has only broken the 60 point mark once. And he’s getting older by the day . . . the hour . . the minute . . the second.

    Come January when Joey N is up in the press box with a brace on that roboknee of his and Eddie the Eagle is bashing tv’s in the dressing room after getting run off the ice by 50 shots and 5 goals by the second period of a philly game (and god I hate philly) all of you are going to be bitching about how this new Gm of yours didnt go out and get a defensman worth more then a roll of tape and a 5 dollar hummer in a back alley.

    It’s like a broken record around these part every september . . “Oh the leafs are sooooo much better, they went and got Center X and Winger Y and they will outscore everyone who comes into the building. But defensman A was traded, and Defensman B is hurt and Defensman C, D, E, and F (who were all supposed to be signed by the leafs by now) have signed elsewhere. But its ok, We’ve got a cinderblock a pylon and a bag of sand that we can put jerseys on and whooohoooo Cup party at my place!!!!!!”

    Is there some kind of Leaf Gm disease where you get selective amnesia and you cant remember the mistakes of seasons past? That when everyone on the planet is screaming “dear God sign some defense!!!” a leaf GM hears “a 35 year old center with bad knees sounds like a good idea to me!!”

    And even if he’s only getting 2.5 this season, that only leaves 1.5 mil of the 4 mil that svelia money that Qunn was crying was all he had, and really what can you get with 1.5 million anymore, a ten minute phone call from new york to toronto if you dial 10-10-321, oh and a roll of white hockey tape?

    My only worry is that this means that Travis Green and or Darcy Tucker will be this seasons Cory Cross and will the key player in every Toronto trade rumor. How long till the Rob Blake for Travis Green and a 5th rounder rumors start up? I know for a fact that Colorado is hurting to drop some payroll and could really use a that draft pick next year.

    It’s like God I want to see Toronto do well, I really do, they are a Canadian original six team, I would’ve given a kidney to see them win that last game against Philly last year, but as long as the Gm is play CandyLand and ignoring the needs of his team it isnt going to happen

    thank you and I’m spent

  6. WeStSiDe says:

    Just something to add, they dont need Nieuwendyk to be the force he was years ago, it is one of the reasons his price tag wasnt as high. He will be good for the team in a leadership role and keeping the team happy as well, and one of the better face off men in the game. They were deep at forward to begin with, this just rounds it out. I think the defense still is in mind, but you only do one move at a time.

  7. -MJ- says:

    This is a great move by the new guy, what’s his name??? The Leafs have a good deal of options now, to tackle the trade route for a new D-man, and sign a player.

    Trade Travis Green for an offensive d-man.








  8. orlandomac says:

    I have a feeling they didn’t get Newie for second line duty….

    If I were the coach my offence would look like such

    Ponkarovisky(SP?)- Sundin- Mogilny :

    Ponk has shown that defensively he can hack it in the NHL, he might even discover a scoring touch with these two, if you remember at the start of last season the reason Tucker didn’t work with the top line was because no one handled the defensive role.

    Tucker – Antropov – Nolan:

    Antropov likes to sit high in the slot so defensively this works well with the other 2 are down low creating space, and strengthening the D coming back- Antropov knows how to use that huge stick.

    Roberts- Newie- Renberg:

    This line will not only rest the old ones for the playoffs but also makes sense defensively…

    Fitz- Reichel- Domi

    This lines two way play is excellent, and should keep the play deep in the offensive end…

    That leaves Green & Belak out, they both can play LW and could fill utility roles at Center and D respectively….. or cover during injuries….

    For me to move Antropov would be a big mistake, if he avoids injuries with a quality linemate like Nolan, I’m thinking he’ll put up 80 Pts.

    Quinn likes to roll his lines so the top three lines almost get the same amount of time, with only the penalty killing and PP making the difference.

    It reunites Roberts and Newie, takes care of defensive responsibilities on each line, and gives us three lines that score… possibly even a fourth….

    As for the D, I think Ferguson has a point to prove and like to think outside the box…

    I believe one or two of the young D will come through, and also expect a trade or signing to fill another spot…

    I think they want to see how the Young D performs during Camp before they decide on which route to take…

    Hedin, Bell, Coliacovo, Kondratiev, and Harrison all have a chance to make it….

    The last time the Leafs were short a few D the kids stepped up and we got Kaberle and Markov out of that group, they weren’t rated as high as these young lads, I hope they all perform well.

    As for injuries I think almost every team has injury problems this year, with some rosters being stretched and alot of youngsters given a shot….

    I also think with the extended schedule in 2002 alot of the recent injuries were down to the lengthy schedules.

    Hopefully no team gets hit too hard….

    I would prefer every team to be fighting on all cylinders…

  9. Macphisto says:

    I’m sick of people tearing apart everything that the Leafs do…the fact remains that this is a great signing for the Leafs…IS he the same Nieuwendyk he was in the past…HELL NO…any moron could tell you that…is the the savior of the Leafs..OF COURSE NOT

    That being said expect Nieuwendyk to put up a 60 point season…no, I’m not insane…thinks about it for a minute…he had 45 points last season with the Devils, a team not none for the offence…hell, their leading scorer (Elias) only had 57 point…thats not much …he’ll be playing with much better talent…any combo of Mogilny, Nolan, Roberts, Tucker, Antropov…he’s one of the best face off men in the league and his leadership will only help…he’s gritty and determind…he brings playoff (3 Cups) experience that can only help…he’s one of the best clutch players in the game and he’s come home to the team he grew up loving…look for a strong season from him, with out a doubt…when the Leafs signed Belfour last year EVERYONE was on their case for it (myself included) saying, “he’s washed up, he’s a bum”, and anything else negative you can think of…well Belfour proved us all wrong and put up a Vezina trophy nominated season…doubters, get ready to eat it again.

    This is also a good move for the Leafs because it no makes certain players expendable…they no longer need Travis Green, who they can trade for the defensive help they so desprately need…lets face it, there is not a free agent defenceman out there that could turn the Leafs defense around and that would be worth the money…Klee is a solid defenseman and would totally help in that category, but he isn’t even worth 1.5 mill nevermind the 3 mill he wants (I’m tired of these player agents pimping this sport)…so they best logical thing to do would be to trade for one..Zhitnik is a great fit, but seeing that the Sabers and LEafs are in teh same division, that could be a hard one to pull off…expect the Leafs to make a deal with the Blues (Fergies old team) with Proger back and the signing of Baron they have lots of depth…plus the Leafs have some quality prospect, and who knows maybe Colaiacovo or Bell could step it up and be the Barrett Jackman of this season…its is unlikely (VERY) but they could step in and solidify their weak defence…its still to early to panic about their defensive situation…lets just be happy with a great signing.


  10. Leaf_Expert says:

    If you guys were facing Detroit or Colorado, you would have needed him….

  11. amazing_jesse says:

    My predictions are still in tact.

    I still think they will sign Klee and make a trade for Zhitnik once they evaluate their youth in Sweden.

  12. amazing_jesse says:

    Right again.

    Green, Tucker and Berg are all fodder.

    They will be looking for a 4th center among the youth and be looking to see who can play D.

    I still think Klee will be signed and a Zhitnik trade be made.

  13. MantaRay says:

    While I am very stunned by this turn of events, I can certainly see why Toronto fans are excited. Niewy is a competitor and still has some talent, but I still think he fits better on the Devils.

    Niewy is very injury prone which allowed the Devils to break in players like Rupp, Bicek etc. I don’t think Toronto has that luxury. I think this signing limits some of the ice time that Andropov would have gotten, who also has a better offensive upside than Niewy.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a good signing for Toronto, I just don’t think they address the teams immediate needs on the blueline.

    This just makes Toronto older, and only slightly better than the day before.

  14. big_booty says:

    You either can’t read or just can’t think logically.

    I never said it was a bad signing. I like Nieuwendyk, but the fact of the matter is that he alone does not solve the problems that were made evident to the entire league in the Philadelphia series.

    Most of you be-Leafers out there seem to think that every single player signed or drafted or traded for by the club is the “final piece of the puzzle.” That’s the thing I have the biggest problem with.

    And while it may be true that I don’t particularly care for the team itself, I am only analyzing their moves from a purely logical standpoint. To wit:

    – The team is old. Signing Nieuwendyk gives them 13 players 30 or older.

    – The team is fragile. Nolan’s back is bad, Roberts has two rebuilt shoulders, Nieuwendyk’s entire lower body should go into the shop, Antropov’s knees are still suspect, Renberg is snakebitten, and now McCabe is limping.

    – There is still alot of dead wood on that team. Belak, Berg, Renberg, Reichel, etc. are not the type of productive depth players winning teams need.

    – Defense? What defense? Aside from Kaberle, there is not one quality defender on the Leafs roster. Coliacovo is no guarantee, neither is Bell. McCabe took a huge step backwards, Berg is just plain horrible, as is Belak. So, the Leafs go out and get Marchment? This blueline crew will continue to get picked apart all season. Belfour will suffer as a result.

    – The Nolan deal was a bad idea. Not only because of his disappearing act, but it robbed the Leafs of young centermen who could have filled the need at that position right now.

    Open your eyes – your Leafs aren’t going to be as good as you think.

  15. brodeur-hymn_tribute says:

    As an adamant devils fan, and after watching practically every devs game, all i can say to the leafs fans is… dont get your hopes up yet. you’ll have to hope that nieuwendyk’s lack of production is because of the devils tight defense-first system. he’s a thrill to watch at points, because he is still a dynamic skater and playmaker…. but the dude cannot buy a goal. he could deke out 2 defensemen and the goalie and find a way to miss or get robbed. since star players dont last long in nj, it was frustrating to watch such a legendary player like joe do nothing but get secondary assists to langenbrunner and friesen. the best thing he did for the devils was… and i feel shitty saying it, but, get injured. in game 7 against ottawa. the devs were on their heels, and it took an crippled, crying nieuwendyk to rally the team’s spirits. brodeur stands on his head, langenbrunner nets 2, marshall figures out how to pass and friesen remembers how to score. series over.

    so leafs fans, good luck and have fun w/ (as my friend joe dubbed him) nieuwendork.

  16. swedishvoice says:

    Well well we’ll get Comrie insead….. *s*

  17. swedishvoice says:

    Gomez, Madden and Rupp will fight for 1t line, althow Rupp would have bin better with one more year with Niewy…

    Still they could get Comrie to do the jobb….

  18. LetsgoHabs says:

    Hi everyone

    Just joined this forum after coming to this place for a year now. Just never took the time to register

    Anyways this signing can only be good for the leafs. Nieuwendyk will help them a lot both in the playoff and in the locker room!

    He should have a good year with Roberts if he doesn’t get injured!

  19. OptimusPrime03 says:

    As weary as I am about Joe Nieuwendyk, I think it is a great signing.

    He is a proven center who has the experience of 3 cups with 3 teams and a gold medal. If anyone watched him in the Olympics you could see the flashes of talent he can muster when surrounded by a supporting cast. He is super injury prone and not the player he once was and old. This makes Toronto one of the oldest teams and that is not a great thing considering the grind of an 82 game season and a strong playoff run.

    Ideally it is a great steal for 2.5 million considering Reichel gets more. It gives the team options.

    First Line: Antropov-Sundin-Mogilny

    Second: Roberts-Nieuwey-Nolan

    Third: Renberg-Green-Tucker

    Fourth: Domi-Fitzgerald-Reichel

    Also have the likes of Ponikarovsky, Gavey, Druken, Stajan, Steen…..alot of which could see action with the expectation of an injury prone offence but it is these opportunities that have given rise to young superstars. It has worked for teams like Detroit, NJ and Dallas and a blend of this Young and Old formula is a great way to go. Who’s to say a trade won’t enhance things further down the road or another signing ie Arvedsson. I think the leafs will have as good as a chance as any this year and will go for it ( offensively) Defence is the whole other story. Hopefully Ferguson has a gameplan to establish a successful dynamic and not just a name signing to please the public.

    This is the last year before this team goes bust so let’s get it right! GO LEAFS GO

  20. TML51 says:

    I suppose I’ll have to start eating my words about Fergie being a Quinn puppet, as he has got some things done, but I’m not convinced just yet.

    Nieuwendyk will fit in well with the Leafs and add to an already strong offensive nucleus. (Sundin, Mogilny, Roberts, Nolan, Antropov, etc.) His past injury history, however, may leave the them a little thin up front. (We all know how the Leafs have the greatest of luck with injuries!)

    What kills me is that the Leafs have yet to do anything about their defensive problem. Yuskevich and Klee, although not stud defensemen, would vastly improve the situation. Both are stay at home, physical type players that the Leafs are in dire need of. I realize that Klee wants a multi-year deal, and Yuskie’s agent and the Leafs can’t stand each other, but I think the Leafs have to swallow some pride in both situations and sign them.

  21. TML51 says:

    I suppose I’ll have to start eating my words about Fergie being a Quinn puppet, as he has got some things done, but I’m not convinced just yet.

    Nieuwendyk will fit in well with the Leafs and add to an already strong offensive nucleus. (Sundin, Mogilny, Roberts, Nolan, Antropov, etc.) His past injury history, however, may leave the them a little thin up front. (We all know how the Leafs have the greatest of luck with injuries!)

    What kills me is that the Leafs have yet to do anything about their defensive problem. Yuskevich and Klee, although not stud defensemen, would vastly improve the situation. Both are stay at home, physical type players that the Leafs are in dire need of. I realize that Klee wants a multi-year deal, and Yuskie’s agent and the Leafs can’t stand each other, but I think the Leafs have to swallow some pride in both situations and sign them.

  22. habsoverserver says:

    Any GM who feels pushed to sign big names ends up with Rangeritis. It is much more impressive to sign a lesser known player with improving stats.

    If Toronto thought that winning some faceoffs and scoring 60 points was so important they could have kept a younger and more durable Perrault two years ago for much less than they paid Nieuwendyk.

    Yes, Nieuwendyk is a leader but so are Roberts, Sundin and Nolan.

  23. OptimusPrime03 says:

    That is the most accurate breakdown of the leafs i have seen yet and I am a diehard, bleed blue and white leafs fan.

  24. G_Money says:

    Wah Wah Wah we lost nieuwendyk ….. If the devils had signed him then you woould be saying”o yeah great we got him back He is awesome” we both know that is true.

  25. WeStSiDe says:

    The signing of New does not change the fact of our defence, and I dont think anyone said it did.

    About your injury assesment, you cant go down the list of every player that has been injured and so “oh, they will be again”, you cant think that way. As well, people are making more of the McCabe injury then it is.

    Dead weight, well that depends, Belak is a reserve player, and can be an enforcer, I dont exactly call that dead weight. Berg and Reichel I might tend to agree with, and they seem to be the 2 “left” on the team, but with that being said, Reichel wont hurt you in the defensive end, his downside is he is overpaid and doesnt show much intensity. Berg has been off and on, and his role is undetermined, with that being said I dont think he will prevent us from anything IF he is on the roster at the start of the season(Much like Therien). I dont agree about Renberg being dead weight. So would I like Reichel and Berg gone if I had the option, sure. However they wotn really “hurt” you.

    On the blueline, you have McCabe, Kaberle, and Marchment as the sure 3 that will form the 6 Defenseman, 3 spots open, none guranteed. They do need one more proven guy to step in such as a Klee, and for the other spots they have Hedin comming over who almost certainly will claim a spot, then you have Jackman, Colaicovo, Berg and whoever else comes along to round it out. McCabe may have taken a step back, but he was still good, and I have confidence in him to return to form.

    Nolan was a good deal, to clear it up, Nolan was playing with an injury in the playoffs, if you know how Nolan plays, you would know something was wrong. I dont think it was a bad deal, it was a fair deal for both sides and what they needed/wanted. The Leaf’s do not need Centremen, I dont know where you get that.

    How the Leaf’s will do is unknown, wait and see.

  26. 89AlexanderMogilny89 says:

    Once again your thinking is flawed.You seem to like negativity.So if you want to talk about the Leafs and how broken down they will be I will be more than happy to dicuss it with you.You should take your own advice and open your eyes.

  27. WeStSiDe says:

    Joe signed for 2 million!

  28. WeStSiDe says:

    Joe signed for 2 million!

  29. Aetherial says:

    The best thing about this signing is that it frees up Antropov to possibly be on the first line with Mogliny and Sundin.

    Anyone who watched closely would note that Antropov BY FAR played his best hockey with that pair. The line overall was VERY good.

    None of it matters, the Leafs are NOT contenders with or without Nieuwendyk. I am just glad they signed *someone*… I’ll be happy if they go to round 2 of the playoffs atleast managing to beat out one of Jersey, Philly or Ottawa.

  30. B-man says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA suck for the devils!!!!!!

  31. bruinfan37 says:

    Perfectly put

  32. devfanman4 says:

    Maybe, maybe not. Detroit got ousted by Anaheim in the 1st round and then beat the Wild the team who eliminated the Avs. So technically we played the best team from the west (although on paper…not even close). Nieuwendyk helped us on faceoffs which showed on several goals the Devils gave up in the finals agains the Ducks. He was a good addition to the Devils, but other than that the guys were ok without him.

  33. Aetherial says:

    Booty, open your eyes friend.

    I see VERY few Leaf fans proclaiming that this is the last piece to the puzzle.

    Your assessments of the Leaf team are a pretty good summary though. I agree.

    The biggest problem is/was injuries. Everyone watching the Leafs / Philly series knows darn well that the Leafs were (once again) BADLY banged up.

    That is why you are right about the age and lack of depth being a problem.

    Oh, and I was also unhappy with the Nolan deal when it was made 🙁 I felt that the Leafs should have done nothing at last year’s trade deadline. They should have admitted that they were not close enough to open up the warchest and they should not have given away future.

  34. Aetherial says:

    Yeah they do,

    The problem is that the organization does not seem to like Yushkevich and Ken Klee is NOT worth anywhere near the money he is asking. His numbers last year were inflated by playing with Gonchar.

    So, there just is not a lot of good D-man floating around.

    I still look for them to trade for a *serviceable* defenseman in some minor deal for Green or something. I think they will then start Colaiacovo and Jackman.

    Kaberle, McCabe, Berg, Marchment, Colaiacovo, Jackman. Belak and a D-man in some trade will do spot duty.

    Pretty weak D.

  35. defenestrate says:

    Gosh – an old man with bad knees- great!

    Great, I mean, that he didn’t come here.

    Are you thinking that Marchment cured your defensive woes?

  36. PeterPuck says:

    Thank you for the great read, I loved it and agree with every thing you said…………….Cheers

  37. brodeur-hymn_tribute says:

    uhhh, actually no. when i read the post that he would sign w/ the devils, i shrugged and said, “cool”. now that larionov is our big signing next to rasmussen, yea, i wish nieuwendyk was back. and just so you know, i realize there are 2 way fans like you describe, but i wouldnt have even bothered posting even a word if joe had actually signed w/ the devs. its not worth energy from my fingers. just like not all leafs fans think the cup is a lock for the leafs, i dont think that if the devils resigned nieuwendyk it would have been a big deal.

  38. rojoke says:

    Klee has already rejected a one-year deal from the Leafs. And with all the one-year deals being offered by most teams, I doubt if he’ll get much more than that, unless somebody loses a top-four defenseman early.

  39. rojoke says:

    Antropov has to stay healthy, The guy has everything it takes to be a top player in the league. But he’s also had three(?) knee surgeries. Bad knees affect just about every aspect of his game, his speed, his agility, his play-making. If he can stay healthy, this could be his chance to establish himself as a bona fide player on this team. That is if he isn’t traded first.

  40. rojoke says:

    Arvedson signed with Vancouver, 1 year, $1.5 million, according to The Score.

  41. Aetherial says:

    TSN was reporting that the amount was 1.5 million for 1 year. So, I don’t think this was a case of the Leafs making an offer they could not refuse.

    This also leaves the Leafs about 2.5 mil to spend? I still wonder if Ken Klee will make his way here (who cares if he does anyway).

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