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CuJo, Leetch ready to join forces for alumni

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
LAS VEGAS -- Curtis Joseph is ready and willing to be one of the goaltenders for the Toronto Maple Leafs alumni team in the NHL Alumni Showdown at Comerica Park in Detroit.

"I heard about it, I thought about it, and I was like, 'Yeah, I want to do that,' " Joseph told on Thursday from Wayne Gretzky's Fantasy Camp. "There was no question in my mind."

Joseph played four seasons in Toronto (1998-2002). He won 33 or more games three times and was twice a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. He also had a brief comeback with the Leafs, playing 21 games in 2008-09. After leaving Toronto the first time, he played for Detroit for parts of two seasons, but if he was going to play in the alumni game it would only be for the Leafs.

"I'd play for Toronto, of course," Joseph said.


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If he does get the call to play, Joseph, who still has a home in Oakville, Ont., said he'd immediately get on the phone to recruit Brian Leetch, who played only 15 games and registered 15 points in a Maple Leafs jersey after getting traded to Toronto by the New York Rangers in 2004.

"Once a Leaf, always a Leaf," Joseph said. "I'm the goalie; I'd want to have Leetch as my defenseman."

Leetch, who is also here for Gretzky's Fantasy Camp, said he'd accept the offer. He also played in a celebrity game at Fenway Park and in the recent alumni game at Citizens Bank Park between the Rangers and Flyers.

"Absolutely," Leetch told when asked if he'd be willing to play in another alumni game. "I was thinking about that when they announced it. I said to myself, 'There are so many Toronto alumni, I don't know if I'm going to make the cut on that one, but I'll certainly throw my name in the hat if they need it.' It's been fun. I got to play in Fenway and then this past year's, so if I got to sneak into another one it'd be great.

"You never know. I'd say yes if they asked me."

Joseph also played in an outdoor alumni game last month at Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ont. prior to the AHL Outdoor Classic between the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies.

"It was actually an All-Star lineup," Joseph said. "We had Leafs vs. Habs. We had Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Shayne Corson. It's hard to get everybody out, but we played in Hamilton and it was great. There were 16,000 people there. It was awesome. At the end of the game it started to snow. It was beautiful, perfect."

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