Could Crosby land in T.O.?

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

As long as Sidney Crosby's status remains unclear, NHL teams such as the Maple Leafs always can dream.

The AHL was mentioned again as a viable option this week by Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, and guess who just moved their farm team here and is looking for a marquee draw in a crowded hockey market?

"We'll do our homework in that regard, certainly," Leafs general manager John Ferguson said yesterday. "He would not be the sole person who would be considered (should some sort of junior free-agent rule be declared), but in any case we intend to watch him in Rimouski."

Crosby has said he will not be a replacement player. The NHL is frantically trying to come up with some kind of draft formula before late June that would avoid 30 teams getting into a bidding war for Crosby.

Without the previous year's standings to create a draft order, one option being examined is a lottery with all teams holding an equal chance of winning.

"John reminds us of that on our conference calls," said Barry Trapp, the Leafs director of amateur scouting. "You have to be ready for anything from picking one to 30."

Trapp laughed when asked what would happen under such a mythical scenario if the Leafs got to pick first.

"Can you imagine?" he said. "With the draft scheduled in Ottawa and the Maple Leafs going to the front and picking Sidney?"

Ferguson, who had the Leafs' pro scouts in town this week, will be headed to Europe with Trapp in the coming weeks for a youth tournament as the GM tries to put his NHL down time to good use for whatever draft system is adopted.


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