TORONTO - A former Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy is heading a group that wants to bring a second NHL team to southern Ontario.
Kevin Maguire, who became a referee after his playing career ended, recently met with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly to talk about bringing a team to Vaughan, Ont., just north of Toronto.
"I truly believe getting an NHL team would be tremendous for the city of Vaughan, but the league has said that a second team in the Toronto area is not something that's on their radar screen right now," Maguire said in a news release.
"However, we wanted the NHL to know that if they ever change their mind, we think the city of Vaughan would be the best option and the proposed site the best location."
Maguire, 46, declined to identify the members of the group Thursday, saying the media attention in the wake of a Globe and Mail story about the meeting between Daly and several members of the group damaged its cause.
"At this time, we are not ready to release the names of the people," Maguire said, declining further comment.
Vaughan, which been trying to bring subway access to its community, had previously tried to secure the downtown soccer stadium that houses Toronto FC .
"Certainly getting an NHL team would be a massive shot in the arm for the city of Vaughan and a benefit for hockey fans across the (Greater Toronto Area)," Vaughan Mayor Linda Jackson said.
Daly tried not to get anyone's hopes up.
"While we did in fact meet with individuals interested in having another NHL team in the Toronto area, it is safe to say that there isn't any consideration being given to that prospect at this point in time," Daly said in an email.
"We have no interest in expanding, and we have no desire to relocate any existing franchises."