Leafs trade Potvin

Archived from 1998-99 season.

NHL teams

Since the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Curtis Joseph in off-season, Felix Potvin has wanted to be traded.

He got his wish finally on Saturday as the Leafs sent him to the New York Islanders for defenseman Bryan Berard, the NHL's top rookie in 1996-97, and a swap of late-round draft picks.

"I'm real happy. It's a relief to finally be able to wear another uniform and I'm really looking forward to playing," Potvin said. "I'm certainly real happy to go there," he said. "It's been very hard for six months but you know, today is like a second start to my career."

Potvin was Toronto's top netminder for five seasons, twice helping the Maple Leafs to the Western Conference finals. He was moved to a backup role when the Leafs signed Joseph to a a four-year, $24 million contract in July.

"Toronto is a great city and I enjoyed six years of my career and I have great memories," Potvin said. "It's too bad that this year gave me a sour taste in my mouth, but I'd rather remember the first six years and all the fun I had there and all the great teammates I had."

New York had to pay dearly for Potvin. Berard who won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year following the 1996-97 season and is considered one of top future defensemen in the NHL.

"I've gotten my bags packed, I'm ready to go," Berard said. "I'm excited to go to Toronto, they're a good team. I heard rumors of this trade. Fortunately, the Maple Leafs are in first place. They've got some big hockey coming. There were rumors I didn't like Canada when I didn't sign with Ottawa. That was strictly a business decision."

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