Maple Leafs Sign Three Players
(June 30, 2004) -- John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that the club has re-signed Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts and Aki Berg to contracts. In keeping with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Nieuwendyk, 37, played 64 games for Toronto last season collecting 50 points (22 goals, 28 assists) with 26 penalty minutes. He ranked third in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage (60.4%), 13th in shooting percentage (16.8%-tie) and 21st in powerplay goals (10-tie). He finished third on the team in goals, third in powerplay goals, third in game-winning goals (5), fourth in points, and fourth in powerplay points (20-tie). He also played nine playoff games for the Maple Leafs scoring six goals with four penalty minutes.
He ranked fifth in the NHL playoffs in shooting percentage (26.2%) and eighth in game-winning goals (2-tie). He led the team during the playoffs in goals, game-winning goals and shooting percentage.
The native of Oshawa, Ontario has won the Stanley Cup on three occasions (1989, 1999, 2003) and is only the ninth player to skate for three different Stanley Cup winning franchises (Calgary, Dallas, New Jersey). In 1999, he led the NHL playoffs in goals (11) and won the Conn Smythe Trophy awarded "to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs".
In 1995 he won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy awarded "to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community". In 1987-88, his rookie year, Nieuwendyk collected 92 points (51 goals, 41 assists) in 75 games. For his efforts he won the Calder Memorial Trophy awarded "to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League".
Nieuwendyk was a member of the 2002 Canadian Olympic team and won the Gold Medal collecting two points (one goal, one assist) in six tournament games.
Nieuwendyk has played for four teams in his NHL career: Calgary, Dallas, New Jersey and Toronto. In 1177 career NHL games he has collected 1062 points (533 goals, 529 assists) with 627 penalty minutes. He was originally Calgary's second choice, 27th overall in the 1985 Entry Draft.
Roberts, 38, played 72 games for Toronto last season collecting 48 points (28 goals, 20 assists) with 84 penalty minutes. He ranked second in the NHL in shooting percentage (22.6%), second in game-tying goals (2-tie), 12th in game-winning goals (7-tie), 13th in powerplay goals (11-tie) and 23rd in goals (tie). He finished first on the team in powerplay goals, first in game- tying goals (tie), first in shooting percentage, second in goals, second in shorthanded points (2-tie), second in game-winning goals, second in multiple-goal games (4), fourth in powerplay points (20-tie), fourth in multiple-point games (11-tie), fifth in points (tie) and fifth in plus/minus (+9-tie). He was selected to participate in the NHL All-Star Game and collected two points (one goal, one assist). He also played all 13 playoff games for the Maple Leafs collecting eight points (four goals, four assists) with 10 penalty minutes. He finished first on the team during the playoffs in powerplay goals (2-tie), second in goals (tie), and second in points (tie).
The native of North York, Ontario is one of only six players in NHL history to score 350 goals and amass 2000 penalty minutes (Mike Foligno, Brendan Shanahan, Rick Tocchet, Pat Verbeek and Kevin Dineen). He has participated in the NHL All-Star Game on three occasions (1992, 1993, 2004) and won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey in 1996. He has scored 20 or more goals in a season 12 times over his 17-year career with Calgary, Carolina and Toronto. In 1029 career NHL games he has collected 806 points (397 goals, 409 assists) with 2345 penalty minutes. He was originally Calgary's first choice, 12th overall in the 1984 Entry Draft.
Berg, 26, played in 79 games last season recording nine points (two goals, seven assists) with a plus/minus of minus-one and 40 penalty minutes. He was held pointless in ten playoff games.
The 2004-05 season will be Berg's fourth as a Maple Leaf. The native of Turku, Finland was acquired by Toronto from Los Angeles in exchange for Adam Mair and Toronto's second round choice in 2001 Entry Draft (Mike Cammalleri) March 13, 2001. He was originally the Kings' first choice, third overall, in the 1995 Entry Draft. In 531 career NHL games Berg has recorded 77 points (15 goals and 62 assists) with 318 penalty minutes and he will represent his country at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.