Curtis Glencross was on Brady & Walker discussing his decision to sign a PTO with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the impact of Mike Babcock on his decision.

Greg Brady: What appealed to you, at the age of 32, about the Leafs’ offer and an opportunity to be a big part of this club?
Curtis Glencross: When I started talking about PTOs, Toronto was one of our top teams to go [to]. I just think it’s a great opportunity to come [into]. Obviously, with the new coaching staff and transition going on, that’s a team that I think I can help. I have great confidence in the coaching staff they have there. It’s a great team. I’ve kind of been checking out some of the readings and some of that stuff; a lot of the guys are saying they don’t want the whole rebuild name kind of going out there. I don’t believe it’s a rebuild, either. It’s a strong hockey market and a great city and come and tryout at. I’m excited for the opportunity.

Brady: Guys wait a long time sometimes to get to unrestricted free agency and it almost always works out. Was this a tough climate? Was this a tough year for not only guys like you, but Brad Boyes who will be in on a PTO, Devin Setoguchi will be in on a PTO… it was tough to find jobs for some pretty good players.
Glencross: Obviously, with the market the way it is right now, it is tough. Everyone kind of wants to wait for free agency and hopes to have a good free agency. You wait your whole career to be a UFA. Obviously, in my nine-ten years as a pro, I’ve never seen a free agency go like this. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time you have to take what comes and think of the positives. Like I said, I’m excited to come in here.

Brady: You spent a lot of time in Calgary, and were finally moved at the deadline to Washington, which was – not a new experience – but the first time in a long time that you’ve experienced that and gone on a playoff run. It obviously wasn’t everything you hope for, but do you take away positives from that transition?
Glencross: Absolutely. It was a great learning experience for me. They had a great group of guys there and they had a great organization in Washington. I’ll never forget my time there. Obviously, I’d have liked for it to have gone a bit better there, but that’s how it goes and it’s part of the game. With Washington being such a good team, too, when you’re acquired at the deadline it’s one of those things where there’s not much time to get in there and get comfy and figure things out. It was good early, and then we had some injuries and things changed. I never got back into a groove. That’s how the game goes. I love the big hockey market. Obviously, playing in Canada and in Calgary for so many years, it’s something I thrive on. Like I said, it’s going to a great time to come there. I’m excited to get in there on Monday.

Brady: Here’s the weird thing, Curtis. You’ve got a lot in common – I was thinking last night – with Mike Babcock. Both Saskatchewan born, you played in Cincinnati; you would’ve just missed him coaching in Cincinnati. You played in Anaheim; you would’ve missed him just by a couple years coaching in Anaheim. Have you come across him before? Has there ever been communication? What do you look forward to with being in camp with you?
Glencross: I’ve known Babs for quite a few years. I’m excited. I had a good talk on the phone with him a couple days ago there. It was a positive talk and I got a good vibe from him. He’s a Western guy, and I like the idea that he’s a straight shooter. That’s all you can ask for in a coach. Obviously, with his experience and the franchise and organization he’s built in Detroit and now coming to Toronto and bringing all his qualities to Toronto, it’s nothing but positive. I’m excited to work with him. I think it’s going to be a good fit.

Brady: You were a part of some pretty good teams in Calgary and some teams that kind of disappointed a little bit. Can you draw any comparisons to where the Leafs are as a franchise right now?
Glencross: I’ve been through it. It’s one of the things where, being in Calgary for so many years and going through the tough years and then finally getting things going the way we wanted to, it was a culture change; it was a transition stage. I’ll never regret my time that I had here in Calgary. It’s a great organization, it’s a great franchise. I still call Calgary home in the offseason. It’s somewhere where I’ve met a lot of friends and great people. I’ve got a lot of ties in Calgary. It’s been a great experience for me. I’ve skated with the guys here in Calgary again and have had conversations with Craig Conroy and a lot of the PR guys here. Something about it; you’ve still got a soft spot in your heart for the Flames and the organization and you wish them the best. At the same time, I’m ready to move on and go to a place like Toronto, where it is such a hockey community, and the hype can be big coming in with the new coach. There are a lot of guys trying to prove themselves, and I want to be one of those guys.

Brady: It’s funny. The last time you get moved, you go to Washington, and they’re getting set for national season; going crazy for the baseball there and Bryce Harper. Now, you come here for the fall and it’s kind of the same thing. People are going Blue Jays mad here as well. Good luck fitting into this market.
Glencross: Yeah. It’s going to be fun. I’m excited. There were a couple teams we were deciding between. This opportunity in Toronto – I think it’s a good opportunity, and I thrive off the atmosphere and playing in front of great fans every night. That’s one big part to my decision.

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