Right winger Steve Thomas will try and match Wendel Clark's three-peat with the Maple Leafs when 62 players take training camp medicals this morning at Ricoh Coliseum.
Thomas finally was granted the last spot on the camp roster during the weekend, joining defenceman Bryan Marchment on a strictly tryout basis. Thomas played with the Leafs from 1984 to '87 and '98 to '01. If he makes it to opening night and equals former captain Clark in three stints as a Leaf, he'd also become the second-oldest player in club history behind 45-year-old goalie Johnny Bower.
The late arrival of Thomas and Marchment, plus the weekend signing of defenceman Brad Brown should complete general manager John Ferguson's pre-camp plans. But Slovakian centre Roman Kukumberg, the club's second choice in the 2004 draft, will be absent from the start of workouts with a minor knee injury.
It was thought that veteran forward Mike Keane would also get a tryout invitation.
Though Ferguson and the 37-year-old Keane are friends from their minor hockey days in Winnipeg, Ferguson never acknowledged that the offer was made and Keane never commented.
"The short answer is that he's not coming," Ferguson said.
Brown's arrival could mark a change in head coach Pat Quinn's plan to start the versatile Wade Belak on the blueline, a move that would potentially create a seven-man defence of Belak, Brown, Bryan McCabe, Alexander Khavanov, Tomas Kaberle, Aki Berg and Ken Klee.