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Joe Nieuwendyk returns to Leafs as special assistant to the GM @NHLdotcom

TORONTO - Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joe Nieuwendyk is returning to the team as a special assistant to the general manager.

"Joe is an extremely intelligent individual, who has experienced success throughout his entire hockey career," GM Cliff Fletcher said in a statement Tuesday. "We will value his contributions on all hockey decisions and he will be a great asset to our organization."

Nieuwendyk, a 41-year-old native of Whitby, Ont., played 20 seasons in the NHL from 1986 to 2007 for Calgary, Dallas, New Jersey, Toronto and Florida. He won three Stanley Cups.

In 1,257 career NHL regular-season games, Nieuwendyk had 564 goals and 562 assists for 1,126 points. In 158 career playoff games, he recorded 116 points (66-50).

Nieuwendyk had 50 points (22-28) in 64 games for Toronto in 2003-04.

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