Fan favorite Joseph returns to Maple Leafs

Updated: July 2, 2008, 12:59 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

With Cito Gaston managing the Blue Jays and Cliff Fletcher running the show for the Leafs, it's retro time in Toronto.

So, it seemed only fitting that CuJo would return, as well.

Veteran goalie Curtis Joseph signed a one-year deal with the Maple Leafs on Tuesday after appearing in just nine NHL games this past season (he signed on with the Calgary Flames late in the season).

Joseph, 41, won't be expecting much playing time; Leafs starter Vesa Toskala appeared in 30 straight games at one point last season.

New Leafs coach Ron Wilson isn't afraid to ride a hot hand, either, as San Jose netminder Evgeni Nabokov played the second-most minutes in the NHL last season.

Nonetheless, it'll be heartwarming for Leafs fans to see Joseph in blue and white one more time. A fan favorite in Toronto, Joseph spent four seasons with the Maple Leafs from 1998-02 after arriving as a free agent from the Edmonton Oilers.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.