The Last Word

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Tie Domi returned to the Maple Leafs this summer because he wanted to end his career in Toronto.

Eric Lindros and Jeff O'Neill both talked about ending their careers as Maple Leafs.

Sentiment is nice but this is getting ridiculous.

Call-in shows are flooded with angst from Mapleholics that the team might not grant Steve Thomas a contract so that he can finish his career here.

What is this, a hockey team, or a centre for senior citizens?

Thomas may be a nice guy but this team already has enough so-called "veteran leadership," including a goalie whose back could seize up tighter than Bill Wirtz's wallet at any moment.

Not to mention, the forwards have had so many concussions that by Christmas line rushes at practice could look like the Monty Python 100-yard dash for the directionally challenged.

If the Leafs aren't careful they'll end up being to the NHL what the Edsel is the car industry: Looks great on paper, but the wheels fall off just getting it out of the garage.

WHAT THE ZEL?

Renee Zellweger is asking for annulment of her four-month marriage to singer Kenny Chesney on grounds of "fraud."

"The usual fraud is a refusal to have children," Raoul Felder, an attorney unrelated to the case told the New York Daily News. "Or you see it if somebody is homosexual, or has some kind of disease, or claims they're from nobility when they're not."

So rumours are running rampant, gossip columnists are doing the nudge-nudge, wink-wink thing, and chat rooms are filled with giddy speculation.

Fact: Chesney was believed, even before he married, by many in the music industry to be gay.

Fact: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning has long been described by U.S. entertainment columnists as a "close" friend of Chesney. Of course one plus one doesn't necessarily make a couple.

Not that, if it did, there'd be anything wrong with that.

B12 TO B.S.

Rafael Palmeiro is blaming his positive test for steroids on some B12 vitamins he got from Baltimore Orioles teammate Miguel Tejada.

Next, Palmeiro is blaming Tejada for Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq war, a famine in Africa to be named later and, he may have a tip for O.J. in his search for "the right killer."

BITS 'N' BITES

Our new governor general Michaelle Jean says the two solitudes are now, unofficially, dead. Evidently, Toronto comedian Frenchie McFarlane says, "she's never seen a Leafs-Habs game." ... Lost in the mail: Sean Avery's invitation to the St. Jean Baptiste Parade ... Clarification: The complete title of the book by Atlanta Constitution writer John Manasso, chronicling the death of hockey player Dan Snyder is Season of Loss, A Lifetime of Forgiveness -- The Dan Snyder and Dany Heatley Story. It's scheduled for release at the end of October and will be available at Canadian bookstores and Amazon.com, etc. ... Neither San Diego nor Colorado in the NL West has a 20-homer hitter. I think we've found a division in which the Blue Jays could feel at home.

LESSER OF TWO EVILS

The Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson have to undergo anger management courses and were sentenced to a year's probation, community service and $250 fines for that brawl last year during a game in Detroit.

It's a light sentence. They could've ended up doing hard time or, as it is referred to in the NBA: "Getting traded to the Raptors."

And that $250 isn't a fine. In the NBA that's what is called a bad tip.

PAPER TIGERS

Luan Krasniqi, on the verge of becoming only the second German world heavyweight champion in history, was ahead on all the judges' cards until WBO champ Lamon Brewster KO'd him in the ninth round.

Adds Dwight Perry, of the Seattle Times: "Pass the Schmeling salts."

TERRELL TIMES TWO

Terrell Owens is expecting to get married next year. The bride is a former pharmaceutical saleswoman who also has a modeling career. Her name? Felisha Terrell.

Guess that's as close as a guy who loves himself best can get to actually marrying himself.

SMART 'N' SASSY

"I got the shotgun and my rocking chair. I'll be on the porch." -- Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia, on his newborn daughter and what prospective suitors will encounter when they come to pick her up for a date.


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