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Toronto Maple Leafs Signings and Citizenships

Posted by Jen on Friday, 8 June, 2007

Leafs Extend Antropov’s Contract

(June 6, 2007) — John Ferguson, vice-president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that the club has signed forward Nik Antropov to a two-year contract extension.

“Nik has continually progressed and evolved into a power forward who contributes offensively and provides size amongst our top six forwards,” said Ferguson. “He is a player we wanted to bring back and who will continue to be a valuable player for us.”

Antropov, 27, played 54 games for Toronto in 2006-07 collecting 33 points on 18 goals and 15 assists, along with 44 penalty minutes and a (+8) plus/minus rating. The native of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan set career highs in goals, powerplay goals (4) and shots on goal (125). Over the past two seasons, Antropov has earned a (+21) plus/minus rating, which is the second highest total amongst all Maple Leafs players.

Antropov has played in 374 career games for the Maple Leafs (1999-2007), registering 78 goals, 111 assists for 189 points, along with 361 penalty minutes and (+57) plus/minus rating. He also represented Kazakhstan at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Antropov was originally Toronto’s first choice, 10th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Source: MapleLeafs.com

Leafs Re-Sign Staffan Kronwall

(June 7, 2007) – John Ferguson, vice-president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Thursday that the club has re-signed defenceman Staffan Kronwall (STAH-fuhn, KRAWN-wahl) to a two-year contract extension.

Kronwall, 24, began the 2006-07 season with the Maple Leafs, but was assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League (AHL) on November 14. He played 47 games for the Marlies, collecting 17 points (3 goals, 14 assists) with 32 penalty minutes. Following the conclusion of the AHL regular season he was named the Marlies ‘Best Defenceman.’

The native of Jarfalla, Sweden split the 2005-06 season between the Maple Leafs and the Marlies. Kronwall made his NHL debut with the Maple Leafs on October 29, 2005 versus the Ottawa Senators, eventually playing 34 games and registering one assist for the parent club. He was Toronto’s ninth choice, 285th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Source: MapleLeafs.com

Ponikarovsky now a Canadian citizen

Great Leaf now a great Canadian
Ponikarovsky one of 53 sworn in yesterday

Thursday, June 7, 2007
by TOM GODFREY

Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky was among 53 immigrants who were sworn-in as proud Canadians at a service in Etobicoke yesterday.

“It feels great,” Ponikarovsky, 27, said after pledging an oath of allegiance. “It has been a long journey for me to finally become a Canadian citizen.”

‘FEELS GREAT’

Ponikarovsky’s wife Inna, and their daughters Jessica, 41/2, and Alex, 21/2, are both Canadians.

“It feels great to be part of this country,” he said. “This is a great country and the people are fantastic.”

Ponikarovsky signed autographs after the service for students of Sir Adam Beck junior school who sang the national anthem.

The NHLer said he always wanted to live in Canada after visiting the country twice as a young hockey player. He moved here from the Ukraine after being drafted by the Leafs seven years ago.

“Playing in the NHL has always been a goal for me,” he said. “I am glad to finally be a full citizen of this beautiful country.”

He said he can now try out for the Canadian Olympic hockey team now that he’s a citizen.

Citizenship court judge Ann Northcote said the new Canadians arrived here from 28 countries.

“Canadian citizenship means being treated as an equal,” Northcote told the new citizens at the immigration office on Dundas St. W. “For many of you it is the end of a long voyage but the start of a new life.”

Matthias Esabu, 33, said yesterday was the happiest day of his life.

“Today my dream has come true,” Esabu said. “Today is one of the greatest days of my life.”

POLITICAL ACTIVIST

Esabu said he fled his native Nigeria for being a political activist in 2001. He arrived in Canada and filed a successful refugee claim.

Immigration spokesman Rejean Cantlon said 259,000 new Canadians were sworn in last year. He said about 710 immigrants daily take the oath to become Canadians.

Source: Toronto Sun

All images from MapleLeafs.com

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