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Quinn Says Stajan Will Get Bigger Role

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#1 Jordan


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 02:35 PM

Youth will be served

Quinn says he won't make mistake of sitting Stajan again


Judging by the scrutiny John Ferguson has faced since re-signing graybeards Ed Belfour, Joe Nieuwendyk and Gary Roberts on Wednesday night, you might think the Maple Leafs will be competing in an oldtimers league come the fall.

The criticism is always the same. Too old. Too brittle. Not enough youth.

To no one's surprise, Pat Quinn does not share that view. In forward Matt Stajan, 20, and defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo, 21, the Maple Leafs coach feels his team possesses a pair of blue chippers who might play a larger role for the team whenever, if at all, the 2004-05 NHL season roles around.

While Colaiacovo faces a challenge in cracking a Toronto blue line that already features Brian Leetch, Ken Klee, restricted free agents Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle and the promising Karel Pilar, Stajan likely will receive every opportunity to increase his ice after drawing raves during his rookie season.

With Robert Reichel, Mikael Renberg and Tom Fitzgerald out of the mix, expect Stajan to provide a source of young blood the Leafs so desperately need.

Quinn came under fire for dressing Stajan in just three of Toronto's 13 playoff games, opting for the type of experience guys like Fitzgerald and Ron Francis could provide.

Quinn now admits he may have erred in not using Stajan more, but claims the Leafs' top freshman of 2003-04 will get increased chances to contribute this time around.

"I think so," Quinn said. "I didn't play him in the playoffs perhaps as much as I should have. He'll probably have a bigger role."

Colaiacovo, meanwhile, brings fresh legs to the back end but must tighten up defensively if he wants a regular spot.

"His development was sporadic on the other side," Quinn said.

Quinn spent the past week in Banff, carving out Team Canada's game plan for the coming World Cup of Hockey. At the conclusion of the meetings, Quinn was peppered with questions from the media concerning the advanced age of the Leafs.

"I don't think we have to get younger," he said. "If you can get younger and maintain the quality of your team, definitely you want to do that, but who doesn't?

"The guys we re-signed still have something left in the tank. They're getting better with age."


The New Jersey Devils added some grit yesterday, signing free-agent left-winger Darren Langdon. Terms of the deal were not released. Langdon, 33, posted three assists and a team-leading 135 penalty minutes in 64 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season.


The Philadelphia Flyers signed free agents Mike Knuble and Turner Stevenson to three-year contracts yesterday.


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#2 Andy


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 02:38 PM


I know a lot of people don't agree, but Matty Stajan might just be our next captain. I'm so happy with this.

Whether he does what he says is a different matter though.

#3 HottieMcBody


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 02:56 PM

QUOTE (englishleaf @ Jul 4 2004, 03:38 PM)

I know a lot of people don't agree, but Matty Stajan might just be our next captain. I'm so happy with this.

Whether he does what he says is a different matter though.

My sentiments exactly, Andy! smile.gif Go Matty! biggrin.gif

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Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:03 PM

OH YEAH!! biggrin.gif * dances around*, WOOHOO!! biggrin.gif
and awww carlo!

#5 Bryan


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:13 PM

Does he mean sporadic in a good way?
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#6 Andy


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE (Bryan @ Jul 4 2004, 08:13 PM)
Does he mean sporadic in a good way?

I think it's either...

"I need an excuse not to play him"
"He's not as good as he should be"

#7 Krylian


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 04:06 PM

I hope Stajan can step in a play a bigger role. I'm not sure he's got the ceiling to be a Top 6 forward. More like a 3rd liner that will play responsibly in his own end and put up a few points...Don't see him as a nucleus type player though...Hope to be proved wrong though.

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#8 gibby


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 07:42 PM

I love watching Stajan play. I wouldn't mind seeing him dodge a few hits with his head up though. He seems to get plastered far too often.
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#9 Newleaf1


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 08:16 PM

Stajan play last year was impressive for a rookie. The growth during the year should guarantee him permanent status on the forth line.

On the other hand, a weak training camp could have him in the minors. Its all in his court in september. (if there is a season)

#10 RoomOnFire


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Posted 04 July 2004 - 09:05 PM

there were a bunch of people on here screaming for Stajan to be used in the playoffs...i pray that the Leafs start next year 0-10 and Quinn gets the boot, it would be for the best.

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