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Olie Kolzig not upset by trade from Tampa Bay Lightning to Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO — G Olie Kolzig said he is not bitter about being dealt to the Maple Leafs at the trade deadline.

It would be understandable if he was. Kolzig put off retirement to sign with Tampa Bay but said he sees the situation as half full.

He said he and his family "fell in love" with the Tampa Bay area and likely will keep their St. Petersburg home. And if he decides to retire after the season, "When everything is said and done, I can say I finished my career with the Leafs and my last game was a win in Montreal. That's not a bad way to finish."

Kolzig, 38, speaking Thursday by phone from St. Petersburg, said he is "leaning" toward retirement but won't decide until the summer, when his left arm is further healed from January biceps tendon surgery.

He said he will report to the Leafs at the end of the month after he is checked out in Washington by orthopedist Ben Shaffer, who did the surgery.

The trade likely was the league's most bizarre at the deadline with Tampa Bay also sending D Jamie Heward, out with a concussion, and minor-league D Andy Rogers, out with a back injury, and a 2009 fourth-round pick to Toronto for D Richard Petiot.

Kolzig said it was a way for the Lightning to "unload two veterans" and the rest of their salaries in a season in which the team faces financial difficulties. He said GM Brian Lawton told him two weeks before a trade was possible.

"I understand these decisions," Kolzig said, adding he feels worse his injury limited him to eight games.

"I'm just disappointed in the way the whole season went from the expectations we had in July when I signed to where we are now. And I feel bad being hurt. I've always been a guy who's been pretty durable, and to be hurt halfway through the season and not contribute when (G Mike Smith) went down, you feel bad.''

But "not bitter at all."

HOMETOWN BOY: Rick Tocchet, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, said he was a Canadiens fan growing up, when the Habs were a juggernaut.

"We'd play roller hockey, and I'd always be Montreal," Tocchet said. "My friends would be Toronto. We know who won all the time."

MAYHEM AVERTED: Things got heated with 54 seconds left as Lightning RW Evgeny Artyukhin and Toronto RW Benjamin Ondrus got tangled up. Tampa Bay's Ryan Craig then tried to get at Ondrus, who seemed intent on avoiding a confrontation.

All got 10-minute misconducts, and Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was ejected for jawing with referee Chris Lee.

Ondrus blamed Artyukhin: "Maybe someone beats the (snot) out of him and he doesn't do it again. I was standing there, and he put his stick between my legs. And he tried to lift me up or something. I don't think he speaks a word of English, so that was another problem."

ODDS AND ENDS: W Martins Karsums got his first Lightning point with an assist on Matt Pettinger's goal. … Tampa Bay swept a two-game series in Toronto for the first time since 1993-94. … Only nine Lightning players on the roster for the Oct. 28 game here suited up Thursday. … LW David Koci was scratched.

Olie Kolzig not upset by trade from Tampa Bay Lightning to Toronto Maple Leafs 03/12/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 13, 2009 7:23am]

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