Reading the Tea Leafs: Curtis Joseph

Following on the success of two other dormant series Chemmy and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.

Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

- Luke 15:32

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$700K salary, $700K cap hit, UFA July 1, 2009

Age (as of October 1, 2008)

NHL Seasons

Run of the Mill Biographical Information

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 9 TOI/60 33.84 4.13 4.91
Wins 3 SAON/60 25.8 11.3 34.0
GAA 2.55 GFON/60 2.76 4.85 2.72
Sv% .906 GAON/60 2.17 0.00 6.80

Marital Status
Married to his wife Nancy with four kids: Madison, Tristan, Luke and Taylor.

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Umm...some guy named CuJo.

Biggest Question Marks
Will he provide better back up goaltending than Andrew Raycroft? When does he beg for forgiveness for leaving to Detroit in 2002?

2007-2008 Summary
CuJo vaulted back into the nation's consciousness by leading the Canadian team to a Spengler Cup title over the Christmas holidays. He signed with the Flames in January and then proceeded to start only 9 games which is not that surprising considering Kiprusoff loves to play.

His real turn on the stage came in the playoffs when he came on in relief of Kipper and helped the Flames came back from a quick 3-0 deficit. He almost did it again in the same series but he screwed the pooch on an easy shot. Overall it was good enough for the Leafs to let Scott "I have the worst agent in sports" Clemmensen go during the off-season.

Projected 2008-2009 role/team
Last year I thought that Raycroft would get about 20 games and unfortunately I was close enough to being right that the Leafs' season fell apart at the seams. Ron Wilson has coached Toskala before and he showed last year that he's not afraid of riding a goalie excessively hard (that's what she said) but that was on a team that essentially had no backup.

If nothing else, the return to Toronto will help heal the rift between CuJo and the city, specifically me. I don't think anyone took greater delight in his career path after he left than I did. As if being a baby about the Olympics (pssst: you fucked up) wasn't bad enough his parting shots as he left for Detroit sealed the deal. In his 12-20 games this year he'll help keep Toskala from being overworked. During training camp he'll work on Pogge and start to develop the relationship that will carry the Leafs' goaltending forward as CuJo transitions into the team's goalie coach.

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