Sharks trade G Toskala, LW Bell to Maple Leafs

Jun 22, 2007 - 6:48 PM SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs added a goaltender to help push Andrew Raycroft on Friday, acquiring Vesa Toskala from the San Jose Sharks.

Toronto also obtained troubled left wing Mark Bell in the deal, sending its second-round pick in this weekend's draft, a fourth-round selection in 2009 and a conditional first-rounder to San Jose in return.

The Sharks have the option of using the first-round pick in one of the next three drafts. The first round of this year's event takes place Friday night, while the remaining six rounds will be held Saturday.

Raycroft won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie in 2004 with the Boston Bruins but struggled in his sophomore season and was traded to Toronto in June 2006. In his first campaign with the Maple Leafs, the 27-year-old went 37-25-9 with two shutouts and a 2.99 goals-against average but could not help the team secure a playoff spot.

Unable to wrest away the starting goaltending job from Evgeni Nabokov in San Jose, Toskala has a better chance at accomplishing the feat in Toronto. The 30-year-old Finn, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2007-08 season, split the duties with Nabokov this past campaign before giving way down the stretch, going 26-10-1 with four shutouts and a 2.35 GAA in 38 games.

A fourth-round pick of the Sharks in 1995, Toskala owns a career mark of 65-28-10 with eight shutouts and a 2.35 GAA in 115 contests. In the postseason, he is 6-5 with one blanking and a 2.45 GAA.

The eighth overall pick by Chicago in 1998, Bell had a forgettable first season with San Jose after being acquired in a three-team trade last July that saw Martin Havlat land with the Blackhawks. Following an offseason incident in which Bell was accused of driving under the influence, the 26-year-old recorded just 11 goals and 10 assists in 71 games.

It was an especially disappointing performance by Bell, considering he established career highs of 25 goals and 48 points with the Blackhawks in 2005-06. In 410 contests with Chicago and San Jose, he has registered 83 tallies and 89 assists.






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