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Lumme lands in right place at right time -- Part two

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by John Iaboni

John Iaboni has been covering the Maple Leafs and the NHL for nearly 30 years. For the last 10 years, he has been the managing editor of the team's game day magazine and now you can share his exclusive inside access.

While it's much too early to gauge his time as a Leaf, the early returns indicate he provides steadiness and savvy. Since debuting as a Leaf against the New York Islanders on November 23, Lumme has seen lots of ice time, including time on the power play.

The fact he is a known quantity to Quinn and assistant coach Rick Ley certainly plays a key part in his transition here.

Lumme has been logging a lot of ice time with his new team.
(Credit:Graig Abel Photography)
"Those years in Vancouver I would say we had a good bunch of guys," Lumme says. "Most of the guys were kind of leftovers from the other teams and I think Pat had a way of bringing everybody together. He made everybody feel good and we had so much fun off the ice and we played hard for each other on the ice. The way Pat treated everybody and how Pat handled things that had a lot to do with it."

Lumme, at 35, has been paired primarily with Aki Berg, 24. It is a tandem that first played together for Finland's bronze-medal team at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

"That was pretty much the first time I met Aki and I think we played every game together," Lumme says. "Ever since that we've seen each other here and there and talked a little bit over the years. I like Aki, he's a good player and just getting better."

Lumme has twice played for Finland at the Olympics, adding a silver medal in the 1988 Games at Calgary. Does he have any desire to play in the 2002 Olympics at Salt Lake City?

"We'll see," he says. "I've had quite a slow start this season so I don't know if they're going to pick me on the team or not. Right now, I'm not even thinking about the Olympics. I just want to get my game shape back and just try to do whatever I can to help the Leafs - that's number one. So if everything goes well and I get picked on the Olympics, great, but that's secondary right now."
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