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Leafs Bulk Up For The Playoffs

Thursday, 03.6.2003 / 11:04 AM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Leafs Bulk Up For The Playoffs
(CP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired highly coveted power forward Owen Nolan from the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.

Headed to the Sharks are centre Alyn McCauley, prospect Brad Boyes and a first round pick.

"It's obviously a big deal," Bill Watters, assistant to Leafs general manager Pat Quinn, said. "I want to leave the rest to Pat Quinn to discuss."

Owen Nolan is now a Maple Leaf.
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Nolan was one of the most sought-after players as the March 11 NHL trade deadline approaches. Reports had suggested that the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens, along with the Leafs, were the main contender for the physical right-winger.

By dealing him, it looks like the Sharks have opted to blow up their roster following a disastrous season. They will likely miss the playoffs after entering the campaign with Stanley Cup aspirations.

For the Leafs, getting Nolan is they type of big deal that their rabid fans have been clamouring for.

Although he's having an off-year with 22 goals, 20 assists and 91 penalty minutes in 61 games, he's considered among the elite power forwards in the game.

Quinn also got to see Nolan firsthand during the Salt Lake City Olympics, when he coached the 31-year-old as Canada won gold.

In 836 career games, Nolan has 323 goals, 352 assists and 1474 penalty minutes.

The Sharks were said to be keen on McCauley for his leadership skills. He has six goals and nine assists in 64 games for the Leafs this season, but impressed during Toronto's playoff run last season.

McCauley, 25, didn't produce the type of offence expected of him this year, but was valued for his penalty killing and smart defensive play.

Boyes, 20, the Leafs' top prospect, has impressed this year in his first AHL season. In 65 games with the St. John's Maple Leafs, he has 23 goals and 28 assists and his recent improved play has caught the eye of many.

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