Allison would like 88 as a linemate

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Jason Allison couldn't be happier that Eric Lindros has joined the Maple Leafs.

"Hopefully, he's on my line," Allison said.

Well, if nothing else, it would be a pretty imposing unit, physically speaking. Allison is 6-foot-3, while Lindros is 6-foot-4.

Allison signed with the Leafs last week. Lindros signed with the Leafs yesterday, a few hours after Allison took part in a tennis event for charity in downtown Toronto, along with tennis legends Chris Evert and Monica Seles, and former Leaf Darryl Sittler.

"(Lindros) is a great player," Allison said. "The more players like that we can get, the better off we're going to be. He has been a great player in the past. He was a great player before he hurt his shoulder last year, or the year before."

Like Lindros, Allison has endured some serious head injuries.

"Well, mine was a little different than his," Allison said. "His was more concussion-related and mine was more neck-related. But similar concerns, I guess.

"I'm not a doctor. I have no idea what his medical record is, or what his risk factors are going to be. I just know he's a great player and he's more than welcome."

Allison yesterday got a big cheer from the tennis-friendly crowd when he was introduced as "the newest Maple Leaf" by referee/host Rick Mercer. But Allison did not read too much into his reception.

"Well, they had to announce who I was, so the crowd had a little bit of prepping," Allison said.

"But it's great. I grew up here and I know what an impact the (Leafs have) on the city. That's what makes it exciting as a player. The fans really embrace the team and that's what it's all about."

Allison's tennis skills weren't bad, alhough he claimed he hasn't played since he was a kid. He was proficient especially near the net as he and Evert narrowly defeated Seles and Sittler.

"Well, I have soft hands," Allison said with a laugh. "That's the only place I'm any good. I knew where to hang out. I let my partner (Evert) run around and hit the majority of them back."

Hopefully if Allison and Lindros are linemates, they can share the workoad a little more evenly.


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