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Lumme lands with Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by Matt Akler

The Leafs have one very happy defenceman on their hands with the acquisition of Jyrki Lumme from the Dallas Stars.

He was acquired by Toronto from Dallas for Dave Manson, who had been used sparingly in the opening quarter of this season. Lumme should provide a steady performance on the blueline after limited success in his first year with the Stars.

Jyrki Lumme spent three seasons with the Coyotes before heading to the Stars this summer.
(Credit: Kellie Landis/Allsport)
Lumme would tell anyone who would listen about how excited he is to become a Leaf. His family is expected to join him from Finland and that was an important part of this deal. His wife, Minna, was reluctant to fly since the day of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, but it appears that she is much more content coming to Toronto with the couple's two children.

The 14-year Finnish veteran will also join a team where he will see some familiar faces. His greatest success as a pro came during his stint from 1990-98 with the Vancouver Canucks where the coach for more than four years was none other than Pat Quinn.

"He was one of the cornerstone reasons we advanced years ago," Quinn said. "He's a big, strong guy and he plays a strong defensive game. He's what I would call a good all-around player."

Lumme's best offensive output came in 1995-96 when he finished with 17 goals and 54 points, numbers that the current corps of Leafs defencemen could only dream about. The previous year he was part of the foundation of a Canucks team that advanced to the Stanley Cup finals, before succumbing to the Rangers in seven games. While he will not be expected to duplicate those accomplishments, Lumme, 35, can still make valuable contributions.

He was selected in the third round of the 1986 Entry Draft by Montreal and played with the Canadiens for parts of two seasons where one of his teammates was Shayne Corson. In March 1990 he was dealt to Vancouver for a draft pick and began to blossom the following year. Lumme signed as a free agent with the Coyotes in the summer of 1998 and was a teammate of another current Leaf, Travis Green, for two years.

Playing for the Finnish Olympic Team, Lumme earned a silver medal in 1988 and a bronze medal in 1998.

Lumme is expected to join the Leafs on Long Island for their game against the Islanders on Friday.
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