The Leafs waive, demote and start rumors.
It appears that Mark Bellâ€™s problems off the ice are behind him but his problems on the ice are still staring him in the face in Toronto, but not for much longer. Today, the Leafs have placed the forward on waivers and cut him from the roster. The move came after a relatively weak outing in the preseason while the younger forwards contending for a spot have provided more grit than the once-sniper. Bell has 182 points (87-95) in 445 career NHL regular-season games.
It was believed Cliff Fletcher was shopping Bell, White, Colaiacovo and Van Ryn for picks and a winger and while rumors circulate of Toronto making a deal with Washington that would involve Carlo Colaiacovo and Eric Fehr, no word has come from the Leafs management to deny the speculation.
As reported on Sportsnet, it appears the Leafs are shopping for a tough guy presence on the club. With the recent offseason addition of Ryan Hollweg, it appears the Leafs landed a young agitator, not a fighter. A possible attraction to the Maple Leafs is 26 year old enforcer Derek Boogard of the Minnesota Wild.
A previous rumor of the Leafs actively chasing speedy youngster Patrick Oâ€™Sullivan has also come back up as his contract negotiations have stalled with the Los Angeles Kings. Itâ€™s believed Oâ€™Sullivan is looking for a contract in the vicinity of $2.5 to $3 Million per season, but will only agree to a one year deal, while the Kings arenâ€™t ready to fork out the dough unless he signs long-term. It looks as though Patrick isnâ€™t sure of the Leafs direction and does not want to commit long-term to a club that is still reaching for ground level success.
The Leafs sent five players down to their AHL affiliate this morning. Goaltender Justin Pogge, forwards Robbie Earl and Kyle Rogers and defencemen Richard Petiot and Jaime Sifers will join the Marlies, who open their season against the Binghamton Senators on Friday.
Luke Schenn will play the first 9 games this season in the NHL due to injuries on the back end. During a conversation on Hockey Central at Noon today, Cliff Fletcher claimed Schenn was the best defenseman on the ice for either team in last nightâ€™s 5-4 shootout loss to Columbus. After the 9 games, the team will evaluate Schennâ€™s position on the club and will then decide if he will become a Leaf regular in his first campaign, or if a return to Kelowna is better suited for the young stud.
The Leafs must have their final roster handed into the league by Wednesday at 3:00 PM EST.
Micheal A. Aldred
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