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The Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars solved mutual problems with veteran defencemen last night when Jyrki Lumme and Dave Manson switched teams.

Lumme, 35, will join the Leafs later today on Long Island where they will play the New York Islanders tomorrow. He was the subject of trade rumours going back at least a year, and the move was finally made late last night when the Leafs reached an agreement with Lumme on restructuring his contract.

The veteran, who played for Maple Leafs general manager and head coach Pat Quinn when both were with the Vancouver Canucks, cleared National Hockey League waivers yesterday. Quinn said he began talking to Stars GM Bob Gainey about a trade on Tuesday night.

"He's a big strong guy who plays a strong defensive game, although you wouldn't think he does," Quinn said. "He's what I call a good, all-round player."

Lumme is known primarily as an offensive defenceman, something the Leafs have needed. But he has fallen on hard times the past couple of years. Lumme was troubled by a nerve problem with his back last season and played only 58 games for the Phoenix Coyotes, getting 25 points. His career high is 55 points with the Canucks in 1993-94, the year they went to the Stanley Cup final.

The Coyotes traded Lumme to the Stars last summer, but he never fit into Stars head coach Ken Hitchcock's system. In 15 games this season, he has one point.

At the same time, Manson was spending most of his time with the Leafs watching games from the press box.

"For some reason, he did not get off well with Dallas and that's why he was available," Quinn said.

At one point, Lumme returned home to Finland on a family problem. It was said his wife was unwilling to fly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington and a rumour started that Lumme wanted to stay in Finland.

While Quinn said he has not spoken directly to Lumme, he has been assured by his agent, Don Baizley of Winnipeg, that Lumme's family will join him in Toronto.

The sticking point in the deal was Lumme's contract, and Quinn declined to say if the player agreed to a restructuring or the Stars agreed to pay a good chunk of it. The answer is probably a little of both.

Lumme is getting $3.75-million (all figures U.S.) this season and there is a team option for next season at $2.75-million. The Coyotes are paying $1-million of Lumme's salary for this season.

The Leafs wanted to avoid increasing their $48-million payroll, which means they were probably willing to pay no more than $900,000 to Lumme this season since that is what Manson is making.

What probably happened is that a deal was made guaranteeing the last year of Lumme's contract, perhaps at a lower figure, as long as he took a pay cut this season. Since no club was likely to pick up the option on the final year, Lumme could end up making more money than if he had simply finished this season at his original salary.