Wheeler-dealer Smith may leave Maple Leafs with aging hands

November 22, 1990|By Knight-Ridder News Service

TORONTO -- Toronto General Manager Floyd Smith made four trades in eight days, and the odds are heavy that he isn't through yet. There are rumors of another blockbuster deal involving either defenseman Al Iafrate or Gary Leeman

One scenario has the Maple Leafs acquiring New York Rangers center Bernie Nicholls for future considerations, those being Leeman when he recovers from a shoulder injury, which is expected to keep him out at least a month.

Smith's most recent deal -- sending two second-round draft picks and 20-year-old prospect Scott Pearson to Quebec for defenseman Michel Petit, 26, and forwards Aaron Broten, 30, and Lucien DeBlois, 33 -- was harshly graded by Toronto reporters, who cry that Smith is mortgaging the future to build a thirtysomething team.

In the other deals, Smith acquired Dave Ellett, 26, Mike Krushelnyski, 30, and Paul Fenton for John McIntyre, 21, Ed Olczyk, 24, and Mark Osborne, 29.

Last season, Smith traded his No. 1 pick in 1991 for defenseman Tom Kurvers, meaning the Leafs won't draft until the third round in June at the earliest, unless Smith starts to unload players for draft choices. And second-round picks don't come cheap. Calgary sent Brad McCrimmon to Detroit and Joe Mullen to Pittsburgh for second-rounders.

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