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Nieuwendyk to Assist Leaf GM


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Well folks, step 1 complete. A "Hockey Guy" in the Management.

The Toronto Maple may not be adding any All-Stars to the ice this off-season, but that hasn't stopped them from adding one to the evolving front-office.

Maple Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher has announced that former-Leaf Joe Nieuwendyk has been named the hockey club's special assistant to the general manager.

"Joe is an extremely intelligent individual, who has experienced success throughout his entire hockey career," said Fletcher in a statement. "We will value his contributions on all hockey decisions and he will be a great asset to our organization."

The Maple Leafs were stymied in their first attempt to add Nieuwendyk to the front-office, when the Jacques Martin and the Florida Panthers denied the Leafs permission to talk to Nieuwendyk until his contract expired on June 30.

In 1,257 NHL games, Nieuwendyk collected 564 goals and 562 assists for 1,126 points. Nieuwendyk played in 64 games for Toronto in 2003-04 and recorded 22 goals and 28 assists and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1999 as the Stanley Cup playoffs most valuable player.

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