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Talkin' After Re-Uppin'

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Stajan has signed a two-year deal to remain a Toronto Maple Leaf.

Stajan, a Mississauga boy, hasn’t played for any other NHL team and recorded one of his best statistical seasons last year with a career-high 16 goals.'s Mike Ulmer caught up with the 24-year-old winger after his workout. Matt’s workout, not Mike’s.

Mike Ulmer: Matt, what was your Welcome to the NHL Moment?

Matt Stajan: I think scoring your first goal. Mine was against Ottawa. Also, getting a taste of playing in the playoffs is a close second.

Mike Ulmer: You were a minus-11 last year. A lot of players don’t put a lot of stock in plus-minus, but how concerned were you about what was the first minus season of your career?

Matt Stajan: I think that stat sways both ways. Sometimes you are on the ice and it’s not your fault and sometimes you get a plus and you’re not involved. For sure, I wasn’t happy with the way I slid during the year.

Mike Ulmer: How much do you know about Ron Wilson?

Matt Stajan: Not much. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’ve heard his rant when he snapped on that TSN commentator. That’s as much as I know about him.

Mike Ulmer: Who is your favourite linemate, all time?

Matt Stajan: I love playing with Alex Steen on our current team. Through the years, I really jelled with Owen Nolan on the ice. Joe Nieuwendyk was terrific.

Mike Ulmer: Who is the toughest guy to score on in practice?

Matt Stajan: Ed Belfour. He didn’t like it, for sure.

Mike Ulmer: What did you think the first time you met Tie Domi.

Matt Stajan: I like Tie. The first time you meet him, you’re a little bit intimidated.  He welcomed me to the team with open arms. Tie was one of those great veterans but the first time you don’t know what to expect.

Mike Ulmer: You lived at home as a Leaf rookie. Did sleeping at night under the posters of those great players and then having to play them make it hard to face opposing players?

Matt Stajan: I wouldn’t change it. The reason I lived at home was I  didn’t know if I would be up all year. I could have stayed at a hotel, but the team didn’t tell me to find a place until after the trade deadline. I’m not going to get some place when I can stay at home in the comfort of living with my family. It made it easier for me to have the support all around me.

Mike Ulmer: Are you going to spend all your contract money in one place?

Matt Stajan:  No. I’m pretty conservative that way.


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