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Peca the leader Leafs expected

November 20, 2006

TORONTO (CP) -- Michael Peca has delivered what was expected when the Toronto Maple Leafs signed him last July.

On the ice, he's been the shutdown guy and penalty killer they hoped for. Off the ice, he's taken a large leadership role on a younger Maple Leafs team.

"It's been exciting. I've enjoyed every moment," Peca said Monday morning. "I'm having fun playing the game. I'm loving coming to the rink and as a player, that's really what you want."

As a newcomer, one might think a transition period was needed for Peca to instil himself as a leader.

But it happened nearly from Day 1.

"There was no transition period," said Peca. "When I came in, in early September, and started skating with the guys, I felt very comfortable. I knew a lot of them already. Having talked with (head coach) Paul (Maurice) and (GM) John (Ferguson) in the summer time, I made them aware what I expected my role and my responsibilities to be. And I realized that there were some young guys in here that probably need to hear that voice.
What are your thoughts on Michael Peca? Is he meeting expectations?
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