Leafs trippin'

TERRY KOSHAN, MIKE ZEISBERGER and LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

GRAVENHURST -- There were more cameras than usual at Maple Leafs practice yesterday, and not only because the media followed the Maple Leafs to this resort town.

Though it was not packed, the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre housed well in excess of 100 boisterous fans.

"You drive a couple hours outside of Toronto and we still have great fans out here," captain Mats Sundin said.

"To have this many fans come to watch us is special."

There was another reason the Leafs enjoyed the 90-minute workout. The arena was ice-cold, which meant the ice surface was fast.

"You come to an arena like this and the ice is awesome," Sundin said.

"Guys are enjoying it."

Sundin will be glad when the Leafs finally hit the ice tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre for the regular-season opener, their first game of significance since being eliminated from the playoffs by the Philadelphia Flyers on May 4, 2004.

"When you look back and it has been over a year, it's tough to believe," Sundin said. "It's a great feeling to get the real stuff on again."

NO BITES HERE

Though the Leafs have been partaking in fishing and golf, tough guy Tie Domi was not about to trade in his putter for a fishing rod.

"I'm not a fisherman," Domi said. "I've never stuck a line in the water in my life."

ALL'S WELL WITH WELLWOOD

Kyle Wellwood figures he is a bubble boy.

And that's fine with him.

Wellwood and Nathan Perrott were not on set lines during practice yesterday at the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre, indicating Wellwood likely is on the bubble.

"There are so many good players and forwards here that it's hard to find a place," Wellwood said. "That's fine. I'm just enjoying my time here and consider myself lucky that they're still looking at me.

"You know that a spot could open up any time (because of) injuries, whatever. Obviously I want to stay here, but if they want me to go to the Marlies for more ice time I'm available."

Perrott is expected to stick because he would have to clear waivers if the Leafs tried to send him down.

Meanwhile, with defencemen Aki Berg and Wade Belak sidelined yesterday, forward Clarke Wilm was decked out in a grey defenceman's jersey.

JUST FOR OPENERS

For 38 years with no Stanley Cups, through two lockouts and a strike, Leafs' fans have not stopped filling the building ... and the club's coffers.

That loyalty will be marked at tomorrow night's opening ceremonies, when three generations of a family of season-ticket holders will be invited to drop the first puck between Sundin and Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson. The grandfather, father and son are being recognized as a gesture to all fans, said a club official.

A new video, based on the team's theme The Passion That Unites Us All, voiced by actor and Leafs' fan Kiefer Sutherland, also will debut tomorrow.


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