The newest member of the powerhouse San Jose Sharks, Niclas Wallin, looked a little fatigued but had some good things to say today at the Air Canada Centre about his new team.
Wallin was dealt from the 28th-place Carolina Hurricanes along with a fifth-round pick in exchange for a second-rounder last night after a few days of wondering if the much-rumoured deal would get done.
He will skate in his first game as a Shark tonight against the Leafs alongside new D partner Dan Boyle.
"I'm so excited, I don't have words for it," Wallin said. "It's been a long couple days. I was just reading media and was wondering, is it going to happen, is it not. When you're not used to this, when you've been with one team, for a long time, I didn't really know what was going on.
"They finally got the deal done, well, I don't even know what day it is today. A couple days ago. I'm really excited. It's a great chance to come to a winning team and a team that has every tool to win a championship.
"That's the bottom line, that's what you play hockey for, you want to win … I'm the happiest man in the world right now."
Wallin joins Doug Murray as another Swedish fellow on the Sharks back end, and because neither have played with a countryman on an NHL team in a while, they've been spending some quality time together.
"I love to watch him play," Wallin said of Murray. "He worked hard, it's been a long road for him, but he definitely deserves to play the minutes he does. A good guy."
Wallin is a solid defensive defenceman who plays regularly on the penalty kill, and his presence will mean less time for one of the Sharks youngsters. He comes with a pretty reasonable contract, too, at $1.75-million over this season and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.