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Leafs Launch Tellqvist Into The Desert

The Toronto Maple Leafs did themselves a favour and alleviated the goal crease menage a trois by dealing seldom used Mikael Tellqvist to the Phoenix Coyotes in return for winger Tyson Nash and a fourth round pick in the 2007 entry draft.

Tellqvist had been relegated to third-string duty this season, appearing only in a 2-1 loss to New Jersey on Nov. 16. J.S. Aubin, who has been backup to Andrew Raycroft most games, won the backup role with a string of wins down the stretch last spring.

"This will give Raycroft and Aubin each a full net in practice, and we like what we're getting back," said Leafs GM John Ferguson.

Nash, who has barely played at the NHL level in two seasons, will likely head to the Marlies. He is not an unknown quantity to Ferguson, who worked in the Blues organization in Nash's best days.

While he won't be mistaken for Rick Nash anytime soon, Tyson Nash's game is that of an aggresive, agitating style, with small offensive output. At best, he'd fill a role left vacant by the retirement of Tie Domi, if he earns a shot in the bigs.

Nash, 31, had been playing for the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL. He had six goals and six assists in 19 games. He'll report to the AHL's Toronto Marlies.The five-foot-11, 191-pound native of Edmonton has been hampered by injuries the last two years.

Ferguson has done well to add the draft pick, essentially getting two bodies in return for one that was no longer desired. He has also shortened the path of top prospect Justin Pogge to the NHL, while clearing up the always necessary cap room all clubs look for as the season progresses.

Who knows? maybe fergie is getting the hang of this job after all!

Also Tuesday, Maple Leafs defenceman Jay Harrison surprisingly cleared NHL waivers and was assigned to the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

With many an NHL team thin at the defense position, one wonders why Harrison was not snapped up in light of the cheap cost.

Now if only the Leafs can get back to winning on a regular basis.