Leafs Had The Defensemen In Their Hands!….
There was a good reason why Pat Quinn wasn’t on the ice during the Leafs practice Friday. He was trying to fortify his team’s defence. With a deal to bring in a top notched defensemen….
Rather than take to the ice, Quinn was working the phones, searching for the elusive blueliner many believe the club desperately needs for a legitimate Cup run. Earlier Friday, sources told Pulse24 that the Buds had sealed a trade to bring a long awaited defenceman to the team – but that it fell through at the last minute. Robert Reichel’s absence from practice fueled speculations that he was involved in the deal, but nothing was confirmed. The trade was apparently squashed because of concerns over bonuses in the player’s contract. That extra money could have meant the Leafs would have incurred costs of over half a million dollars depending on their post season success.
That doesn’t mean the search is over, though. Toronto’s glaring weakness in their own end was exposed again in Thursday’s 4-2 loss at Buffalo and Tuesday’s 3pm trade deadline leaves sufficient, although not ample time, to get things done.
“We would take a defenceman if we thought it improved our team,” Quinn said. “For my own preference, I’d like a big, strong, strapping guy that can handle playing defence – that’s the name of the position. But I don’t see one out there.”
*Among those that appear to be available are Aaron Miller and Mathieu Schneider of Los Angeles, Glen Wesley of Carolina, Bryan Marchment of San Jose, Patrice Brisebois of Montreal, Alexei Zhitnik of Buffalo, and Lyle Odelein and Phil Housley of Chicago.