Devils trade David Steckel to Leafs

Updated: October 4, 2011, 7:35 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

The New Jersey Devils traded center David Steckel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the team announced Tuesday night.

Steckel played just 18 games and scored just one goal with New Jersey after being acquired last February in a deal that sent center Jason Arnott to Washington.

The 29-year-old Steckel recorded 24 goals and 35 assists in 309 career NHL games -- the first 291 of which were with the Capitals.

The Devils went into training camp thinking that Steckel, a faceoff specialist, could be a contributor on their third or fourth lines, but clearly changed their minds given the emergence of younger pivots like Adam Henrique and Brad Mills -- along with veteran Petr Sykora -- during the preseason.

Steckel has two years left on his contract at an average annual value of $1.1 million.

Steckel is perhaps best known for his hit to the head of Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, while playing for Washington, in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Crosby absorbed another hit in a game four days later and hasn't played since then.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

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