John Ferguson does not expect Gary Roberts to pick up a lacrosse stick anytime soon.
But if Roberts actually plans to take advantage of getting chosen late in Tuesday's National Lacrosse League draft by the Calgary Roughnecks, then Maple Leafs general manager Ferguson hopes he's careful.
"I understand he was good as a kid," Ferguson said yesterday. "He and Joe (Nieuwendyk) were both good two-sport players (winning the 1985 Minto Cup as juniors with the Whitby Warriors).
"Every standard players' contract has a clause about prohibited endeavors, but during the lockout, we're not in a position to tell players what they can do. I trust as pros they'll all be careful."
Rumours were circulating in Sweden last night that Toronto defenceman Bryan McCabe was close to a deal with HV-71, last year's Elite League champions, who are off to a poor start.
McCabe could not be reached for comment, but has said in the past he would consider Europe, depending on the circumstances. One of those is likely insurance as McCabe just signed a two-year, $9 million US deal with the Leafs in the summer. But HV71, which plays in Jonkoping in central Sweden, has been known to pay those costs for its NHLers.
Don Meehan, agent for Leafs' Nik Antropov, said the big Kazakh has not made a decision on playing in Russia.
Pat Morris, who represents Tie Domi, said there will be no chance of his client going to Europe until his broken left hand fully heals. Morris and the Leafs are at odds on whether Domi should be medically cleared, which would mean the Leafs would not have to pay him during the lockout.
In a related matter, Ferguson remains tight-lipped about the news he has received on Owen Nolan this week, after the forward's right knee was checked by Cleveland specialist Tony Minacci. The Leafs' doctors said last week that Nolan was fine, but he sought another opinion.
If the two diagnoses conflict, an independent doctor must be brought in.