Mike Richter is back in New York. Curtis Joseph is moving to Toronto. Felix Potvin is still with the Maple Leafs, but for how long?
The NHL goalie traveling show made some stops Wednesday as the Rangers finally settled on Richter, which sent Joseph to the Maple Leafs and Potvin most likely out of Toronto.Although no decision has been made, Toronto could trade Potvin to Vancouver, a possible destination for Richter had he left New York.
Potvin, 27, will earn $2.7 million this season and then become a restricted free agent on July 1, 1999.
"Right now, Felix is a teammate," said Joseph, who left Edmonton for Toronto. "I respect him as a goaltender. I think he's a great guy. I'm sure things will work out for him."
They certainly turned out well for the 31-year-old Ontario native.
"As a little boy I watched the Maple Leafs and dreamed about playing for Toronto and putting the sweater on," Joseph said.
Joseph, who played his first five seasons in St. Louis, will be the second-highest-paid Leafs player behind captain Mats Sundin - who will earn $7 million this season. Joseph was 29-31-9 with a 2.63 goals-against average in 71 regular-season games.
Richter, who never wanted to leave New York, re-signed with the Rangers on Wednesday.
"There are a lot of opportunities, becoming a free agent," said Richter who signed a four-year, $21.8 million contract.
Richter wasn't protected by the Rangers in the June 26 expansion draft and was selected by Nashville, but he was never going to sign there.
Joseph, meanwhile, leaves the Oilers after three years in Edmonton. He was spectacular in helping the Oilers to first-round upsets against Dallas in 1996-97 and Colorado last season. He signed for $24 million over four years after talks broke off with the Rangers and allowed Richter back in.
Richter, who began his career in New York in the 1989 playoffs, came very close on Tuesday to signing with the Florida Panthers.
Richter and Joseph were among three top free-agent goalies available on July 1. He was thought to be among the two best, along with Joseph, and a little ahead of former Rangers teammate John Vanbiesbrouck.
But when Vanbiesbrouck signed a three-year, $11 million deal last week with the Philadelphia Flyers - Richter's hometown team - Richter and Joseph lost leverage.
In other moves Wednesday, the Philadelphia Flyers signed Ron Hextall, now Vanbiesbrouck's backup, to a one-year contract extension. The deal will keep the 34-year-old goalie with the Flyers through 2000.
The Washington Capitals acquired goalie Mike Rosati, a 1988 New York Rangers draft pick. He has spent the last two seasons with the Adler Mannheim team of the German professional league.