Leschyshyn still burns with desire to play

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:32 PM ET


 Senators defenceman Curtis Leschyshyn isn't convinced this is his last shot at a Stanley Cup.

 An unrestricted free agent July 1, the 34-year-old Leschyshyn would like to continue playing if there's no work stoppage next season.

 "I'm probably in the best shape I've been in my whole career," said Leschyshyn. "I guess if there's no hockey next year, that might change, but I believe I can still play and contribute."

 After sitting Leschyshyn for three straight playoff games, coach Jacques Martin put him into the lineup in place of Anton Volchenkov last night.

 "It's tough to watch, especially at this time of year, because you want to be out there and you want to be contributing," said Leschyshyn. "It's always exciting to get a chance to play in the playoffs. This is the time of year that you look forward to playing in all season. It's exciting to get an opportunity."

 Leschyshyn had a long chat with Martin following Tuesday's practice at the Corel Centre.

 "He just asked me what I saw from upstairs and what we could do differently," said Leschyshyn. "There was nothing earth-shattering there.

 "We just talked about a few things and a few ideas to help the team have more success."

 AROUND THE BOARDS: Somebody should tell Leafs coach Pat Quinn to get over the accidental stick incident involving Ottawa RW Marian Hossa and former Toronto D Bryan Berard at the Corel Centre four years ago. During his press conference on Tuesday, Quinn said: "I hate looking at him actually because I have bad memories of him ." Asked to expand on the comment, Quinn decided he was no longer willing to talk. "I still have a foul taste in my (mouth) because of it," said Quinn. "We can't keep talking about this crap ... my goodness it doesn't matter." Nobody would have asked Quinn if he hadn't brought it up a day earlier ... Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. wouldn't comment on a Rogers Sportsnet report that G Ed Belfour turned down a contract extension. Belfour would get a one-year, $8-million (all figures US) contract extension if Toronto wins the Stanley Cup.

 THIS 'N' THAT: GM Jim Nill won't fill out Team Canada's final roster for the world championships until after the first round of the NHL playoffs is completed. While the 18 players who have already been selected will leave for Prague tomorrow with coach Joel Quenneville and his staff, five spots are being left open to add players from teams that have been eliminated ... Senators RW Peter Bondra, who missed Tuesday's practice, had a long talk with trainer Gerry Townend and Martin following the morning skate yesterday. That has led to speculation Bondra has been playing injured in this series ... Martin stepped up to defend captain Daniel Alfredsson before last night's Game 4. Asked about Alfredsson's inability to score, Martin snapped: "If you didn't just read the newspaper clippings and observed the game, you'd know he had four chances to score in (Game 3). He's been working hard, even if he's not scoring." ... San Jose C Alyn McCauley, who injured his shoulder in Game 1 of the club's playoff series against the St. Louis Blues, is going to be sidelined for an extended period. Ouch!


Videos

Photos