Mike Ulmer has worked for seven news organizations including the National Post and, most recently, the Toronto Sun. Mike has written about the Leafs for 10 years and wrote Captains, a book about the club's greatest leaders.
February 27, 2007
(TORONTO) -- Yanic Perreault was in the Edmonton airport and over the moon, all at the same time.
He is bound for Toronto, for the third stint in his career.
"It feels like Groundhog Day," he joked in a media conference call. "You wake up and you're going to Toronto."
Perreault arrives to find a Leafs team suddenly in need of his services. Two lost draws led directly to goals by the Montreal Canadiens in Monday's critical road loss.
Yanic Perreault is to face-off circle what Leonard Bernstein was to the concert podium. A few flashes of the wood and the whole shooting match looks like it's taking off on its own.
Perreault's career has been one long curiosity. He is a poor skater and holds a longstanding rep for being a soft player.
But he can score and make a play. He was thought to be one of the players who would be washed away by the lockout, a victim of the faster game. It took him a while to catch on with a club, but the Nashville Predators took a flier and he responded with 22 goals in 69 games.
He missed the early part of this season and there were more whispers he was through.
"I think this year I had more options than I did after the lockout. Teams were going with younger players and the new rules changed the game."
Not too much, it seemed.
Perreault scored 19 goals in 49 contests and won a league high 62.6 per cent of his draws and even at 35, he doggedly insists on scoring and dominating draws.
He will be in town to practice on Thursday and will be available to play in New Jersey on Friday.
For Perreault, third time's the charm. The Coyotes are out of the playoff race. The Leafs are in the hunt and you have to admit, he'll know his way around.
"It's great to be going to a team fighting for a playoff spot," he said. "The last 20 games should be a lot more fun."