Nathan Perrott has been nothing but a spectator for the Maple Leafs' first seven games but he is managing to keep his chin up.
"You want to play and feel like you are part of the team, but I am staying positive," Perrott said. "(Leafs brass) knows I work hard every day and they can count on me to be in shape and ready to go when the time comes."
Will that be tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers? Mariusz Czerkawski has done nothing on offence in five games and earlier was a healthy scratch for two.
"I am still trying to think about where we get (Perrott) in," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "It may be (tonight) but it is not about pulling someone, it is getting someone in to get an opportunity."
The Leafs likely would send Perrott to the Toronto Marlies to get some playing time but fear they would lose him on waivers when they would try to recall him.
Owen Nolan is recovering well from knee surgery and could be ready to return to the NHL in December or January, his agent, J.P. Barry, said yesterday.
About the only certainty is that Nolan, who has been working out in California, won't be back with the Leafs. Nolan had surgery on his right knee in July. Nolan's name has been linked to both the Calgary Flames and Phoenix Coyotes.
"He is more than a few weeks away from returning," Barry said, referring to speculation Nolan is on a fast-track. "But he will begin skating soon."
The Leafs and Barry, who disagree over when Nolan suffered the knee injury, remain at odds over his status. The NHL Players' Association last month filed a grievance on behalf of Nolan.
Barry hopes that a hearing on Nolan's status is expedited.
"This is about whether he is free or not," Barry said.
Eric Lindros is not jumping through hoops because he has scored in each of the past four games, all Leafs wins. "I don't think you get too fired up about it," Lindros said. "We have a long way to go. Things are all right. We have 75 more games so let's relax a little bit." ... Nik Antropov, out because of an undisclosed injury, did not practise yesterday and will not play tonight.