Perreault, who scored 19 goals for the Phoenix Coyotes this season, was acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs just before the NHL trade deadline Tuesday afternoon. “It feels like Groundhog Day,” said Perreault. “I wake up and I’m back in Toronto.
“It’s great . . . the fans have always been great.”
This is his third stint with the NHL team. The 35-year-old native of Sherbrooke, Que., was drafted by the Leafs in 1991, played 13 games for them in 1993-’94 and was traded to Los Angeles in 1994 for a fourth-round draft choice.
The Kings traded him back to Toronto for Jason Podollan and a third-round pick in 1999. He spent a little more than two seasons with the Leafs in his second go-round before the team lost interest.
“It’s great to go to a team that’s battling for the playoffs,” Perreault said. “Phoenix has struggled the past few weeks.
“Now the last 20 games of the season will be as lot more fun for me.”
Perreault was a free agent when he signed with Montreal in 2001 and with Nashville in 2005. His career-best goals output was 28 with the Kings in 1997-’98.
He’s expected to be in the Leafs lineup when they play in New Jersey on Friday night.
“He’s got 19 goals and he’s one of the best faceoff men in the league,” said GM John Ferguson.
Ferguson confirmed that the club has re-signed forward Darcy Tucker, who has been out of the lineup since Jan. 2 with hairline ankle fractures suffered when he was struck by a puck on Boxing Day. He scored 19 goals before being hurt.
Tucker’s deal is reportedly for four years and US12 million.
“We can’t wait to have him back – not just for the rest of this season but for four years to come,” said Ferguson.
Tucker didn’t want to go anywhere.
“Staying here was a priority,” he said. “It’s been extremely gratifying being a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I’m excited about continuing that.
“I can’t wait to get back on the ice.”