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Waiver Draft Wrap Up

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
October 3, 2003

(TORONTO)  CP -- Travis Green was the biggest name to move in Friday's annual NHL waiver draft as star goaltender Curtis Joseph was passed over as expected because of his high price tag. 

In all there were 20 players taken Friday, up from six last year although few will make an impact on their new teams.

With $16-million (U.S.) left on his contract this season and next, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland wasn't holding his breath that another club would select Joseph, who became expendable after Dominik Hasek's unexpected return from retirement.

"I talked to a number of teams this summer about a discount on his contract so to think that someone was going to claim him now at the full price ... it doesn't surprise me (he wasn't taken)," Holland said Friday from Detroit.

And it doesn't appear as though Joseph, who is recovering from ankle surgery, will be traded any time soon.

Travis Green is now a Bruin.
Graig Abel Photography

"No, I would say it's more of a situation that teams want to start the season and see what they've got," said Holland. "The way I look at it, there's 30 teams and some are going to lose and some are going to win. It's just the nature of sports. So it's probably going to take a while."

In other words, once rival GMs begin to feel the heat after a poor start (Boston, N.Y. Rangers, Philadelphia?), they may come calling.

"In the meantime we just have to sit and see what happens," said Holland. "We have to get Curtis healthy. He's probably a couple of weeks away from being able to play a game. We have to figure out once he is healthy and ready to play exactly how we're going to get him into a game."

Cujo wasn't the only big name available that was passed over in Friday's waiver draft. Pavel Bure ($10-million, out indefinitely with knee injury), Robert Reichel ($3.25-million), Theo Fleury ($4.5-million, currently suspended by the league) and Chris Therien ($2.6-million) were also ignored.

Green, 32, was stunned to be left unprotected by the Toronto Maple Leafs, who felt as a third-line checker that he wasn't worth the $1.6-million he'll earn this season. Columbus selected Green and the Leafs returned the favour by selecting unsigned winger Petr Tenkrat, whom the Jackets had to make available after taking Green.

The Jackets then shipped Green to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2004.

"Travis gives us additional depth at the center position," Bruins GM Mike O'Connell said in a statement. "He is good on faceoffs and is a very reliable player."

The Montreal Canadiens were busy, hoping to address their need for size and toughness by picking up tough guy Darren Langdon from Vancouver and pesky winger Steve Begin from Buffalo.

The Ottawa Senators found out what it feels like to have too much depth, losing off-season signing Denis Hamel, a checking forward, to Washington and tough guy defenceman Wade Brookbank to Nashville.

"You hate to lose players like Wade and Denis," said Sens GM John Muckler. "And I think Wade is disappointed, too, but it's a good opportunity for him."

The Sens did select winger Glen Metropolit from Washington although the Toronto native is playing in the Finnish elite league this season.

"We took a flyer on him," Muckler said. "He can't play in North America this year. We'll see if he has a good year in Europe maybe we'll bring him over to Ottawa next year."

The other selections Friday: Nolan Baumgartner, D, claimed by Pittsburgh from Vancouver; Serge Aubin, F, goes to Atlanta from Colorado; Sheldon Keefe, F, claimed by the Rangers from Tampa Bay; Chris Mason, G, taken by Nashville from Florida; Ronald Petrovicky, F, claimed by Atlanta from the Rangers; Brian Willsie, F, chosen by Washington off Colorado; Todd Simpson, D, to Anaheim from Phoenix; Jeff Heerema, F, to St. Louis from the Rangers; Steve Valiquette, G, to Florida from Edmonton; Shawn Heins, D, to Atlanta from the Rangers; Joel Bouchard, D, to the Rangers from Buffalo; Jani Hurme, G, to Carolina from Florida and Mike Siklenka, F, to the Rangers from Philadelphia.

The Hurricanes then traded Hurme to Atlanta in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2004 after signing free-agent goalie Jamie Storr earlier on Friday.

None of the bigger-name goalies left unprotected for the waiver draft moved, including Steve Shields ($1.2-million) of the Boston Bruins, Brian Boucher ($2-million) of the Phoenix Coyotes and Arturs Irbe ($2.7-million) of the Carolina Hurricanes.

Forwards Claude Lemieux ($2.5-million) of the Dallas Stars, Brian Savage ($3.25-million) of Phoenix and Todd Harvey ($1.3-million) of San Jose were also passed over.

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