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Friday, July 11
Marchment comes home to play for Leafs

Associated Press

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent defenseman Bryan Marchment to a one-year, $2 million contract Friday.

Marchment, a Toronto native, had three assists in 14 games with the Colorado Avalanche, who acquired him from San Jose late last season.

He had two goals and nine assists in 67 games with the Sharks. The 34-year-old has collected 2,126 penalty minutes in 814 career games.

"When I got the phone call I got butterflies in my stomach,'' Marchment said. "I've enjoyed everywhere I've played, but I'm very happy and very excited to finally put on a Leafs jersey.''

The Maple Leafs needed a hard-hitting defenseman to replace Robert Svehla, who is expected to retire from the NHL, and Glen Wesley, who signed a one-year deal with Carolina.

Marchment is known as a tough guy who occasionally took cheap shots in his 15 years in the NHL. He joins his eighth team.

"I have a lot of friends that are around the league. I've either earned their respect or lost it, one or the other,'' Marchment said. "I play for the guys in the room. I don't have friends on the other team when I'm playing.''

Marchment dismissed a suggestion that his skills have eroded with age.

"If anything I think my game has improved the last few years,'' Marchment said. "You're never too old to stop learning and keep improving. I've played with guys that are 40 and 41 that are still playing in the league and that are elite defensemen. I think defensemen get better with age. It's like a fine wine.''

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