Fergy's plate runneth over

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 4:50 PM ET


 John Ferguson has his plate full with the Stanley Cup playoffs, but he can't ignore other important duties that go with being general manager of the Maple Leafs.

 There is a draft to study for, a training camp and exhibition games to plan, as well as contingency moves should the 2004-05 season get pushed back because of labour unrest after Sept. 15.

 Ferguson is concentrating on what he can control for now, starting with the choice of a site for a camp, likely in one of the team's traditional Southern Ontario bases around Kitchener, Hamilton or Barrie. This past September, the team travelled to Sweden for camp and three exhibition games.

 Ferguson said next year's exhibition schedule is set, though details have not been announced. It usually runs nine or 10 games.

 Camp will likely open a day or so after the completion of the World Cup of Hockey tournament, which ends a day before the collective bargaining agreement expires on Sept. 15.

 If a lockout is imminent, there is speculation all NHL teams will begin laying off club employees.

 ROOKIE TOURNEY

 If camp is a go, Ferguson confirmed the Leafs' youngest prospects will participate in a rookie camp/tournament, an event the Maple Leafs used to run.

 "Right now, we're going to do it in conjunction with a couple of other teams," he said.

 "We might not host it right away, but we might move it around (year to year)."

 The NHL draft is June 26-27 in Raleigh, N.C. Because of deals for Brian Leetch and Glen Wesley, the Leafs are without a first- or second-round pick and are not scheduled to select until early in the third.

 Ferguson is looking at trading up for a meaningful choice, however, and the Leafs are due a compensatory pick from the NHL.

 "It goes back to the New York Rangers trading Leetch's rights to Edmonton before New York re-signed him," Ferguson said.


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