November 29, 2006
Tyson Nash sounded as though his lottery numbers came up.
In fact, Mikael Tellqvist had about the same reaction.
The Maple Leafs cleared up their three-headed goaltending picture -- not that it had become a major problem -- by dealing Tellqvist to the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday for Nash, an agitating right winger, and a fourth-round draft pick in 2007.
Tellqvist will play behind Curtis Joseph in Phoenix and though Nash will begin his tenure in the Leafs organization with the AHL's Toronto Marlies, his intention is to prove he belongs in the NHL.
"You can't wipe the smile off my face," said Nash, who has been with the minor-league San Antonio Rampage.
"It's tough to put that (Rampage) jersey on when you know you have no future with the team. The trade is all I can ask for right now.
"I'll play for the Marlies and hopefully force (the Leafs) to give me another chance in the NHL."
Tellqvist played in one game this season after losing the back-up battle to Jean-Sebastien Aubin.
"It's going to be good to be reunited with Curtis," Tellqvist said.
"It will be exciting to be with a couple of legends like (Coyotes coach) Wayne Gretzky and (goaltending coach) Grant Fuhr. It's going to be fun."
Tellqvist stressed he was not upset with Toronto but didn't think he got a true chance to beat out Aubin.
"I knew when I was coming to camp, it was going to be tough with the way J-S played last year," Tellqvist said. "I would not say I got a fair crack but that's the way it goes."
The contract swap for Leafs general manager John Ferguson is a wash. Tellqvist is making $589,000 US; Nash is at $608,000. So Ferguson solves the goaltending issue, doesn't spend much more money, gets a pick and adds some depth to the organization.
"Hopefully (Nash) is knocking on the door here, where he is forcing our hand," Ferguson said. "Mikael has been the consummate professional and we wish him nothing but the best. He will have a better opportunity than he was able to have here."