Curtis Joseph was kidding his old backup, Glenn Healy, the other day.
“I told Heals I was going to ask for his old locker.” said the Leafs’ newly signed goalie
What Healy was to Joseph over three seasons, a stellar backup and observer, the 41-year-old Joseph will be to incumbent netminder Vesa Toskala.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” Joseph said. “I spent the second half of last season with Mikka Kiprusoff in Calgary and really enjoyed it. He and Vesa are very good friends so it should be a great situation.”
Joseph signed with the Flames last January and saw action in nine games for the Flames. He compiled 2.55 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.
Like Doug Gilmour and Wendel Clark before him, Joseph is back for a curtain call. Leaf fans revere his gentlemanly nature and fierceness inside the cage.
Joseph was one of the most entertaining and accomplished goalies ever to play in the Leafs’ net and played 60 playoff games over his four seasons (1998-2002) with the club. Looking to hook on with a Stanley Cup winner, Joseph signed with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002.
The move, he said, was a difficult one and he missed the ardour of Leafs’ fans. “Toronto,” he said, “is hockey’s Broadway.”
Joseph has long admired players who could still deliver a credible performance even while appearing sparingly or who could come off the bench cold and deliver big saves.
“I’ve had some great ones in my career. Greg Millen and Vincent Riendeau in St. Louis, Bob Essensa in Edmonton and Heals here in Toronto.”