Leafs send Doug Gilmour to Devils in five-player tradeAP , Associated Press
Feb. 25, 1997 3:24 PM ET
TORONTO (AP) _ The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt captain Doug Gilmour to the New Jersey Devils today as part of a five-player trade.
Gilmour, along with defenseman Dave Ellett, were sent to New Jersey for defenseman Jason Smith, forward Steve Sullivan and junior forward Alyn McCauley of the Ottawa 67s. Toronto also received a conditional draft pick.
``As you can tell, it's the type of trade where we let two great veterans go,'' said Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher.
``Personally, I'll really miss these two veteran players. They have great character and I'm sure the New Jersey Devils are excited about getting them and it will substantially help their chances of getting through that tough Eastern Conference.''
Fletcher said adding young players keeps with the Leafs' building program.
``We're carrying on what we started last summer, we're trying to become a younger team and by taking one step backwards we're taking two steps forward,'' he said.
Smith and Sullivan were expected to join the Leafs in time for Wednesday's game at home against Washington. Gilmour and Ellett were expected to be with the Devils for their game against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
The widely-rumored trade came as the Leafs prepared to start a seven-game homestand Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.
Gilmour, 33, joined the Leafs from Calgary in a blockbuster 10-player deal Jan. 2, 1992 _ general manager Cliff Fletcher's most successful trade as Toronto's general manager.
The five-foot-11 center's greatest moments came in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons when he led Toronto to the Western Conference final before losing to Los Angeles in 1993 and Vancouver in 1994.
In 1992-93, Gilmour established Toronto team records for points (127) and assists (95) in a season. He won the Frank Selke Award as the league's best defensive forward and finished second in voting for the NHL's most valuable player.
Gilmour was designated the Leafs' captain before the 1994 season.
He began his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues, where he played from 1983 to 1988. He was traded to the Flames, along with Mark Hunter, Steve Bozek and Michael Dark, for Mike Bullard, Craig Coxe and Tim Corkery on Sept. 6, 1988.
Smith, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, was a first-round draft pick of the Devils in 1992 and has one goal and two assists in 57 games this season.
Sullivan, 5-9 and 155, was a 10th-round choice in 1994. He has appeared in 33 games this year with eight goals and 14 assists.
McCauley, a fifth-round pick in 1995, is one of the more highly-regarded players in junior hockey with the No. 1-ranked Ottawa team.
Ellett, 32, has four goals and 10 assists in 56 games this season. He was obtained by the Leafs from Winnipeg, along with Paul Fenton, for Ed Olczyk and Mark Osborne in October 1990.