Sundin not quite ready

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:37 AM ET

One big bonus for Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin when he returns to the lineup will be no more "bag skates" administered by assistant coach Keith Acton.

Long after the rest of the Leafs had left the RBC Center after the morning skate yesterday, Sundin and healthy scratch Nathan Perrott still were on the ice.

"I can tell I have to skate a few days to get the lungs back," Sundin said with a smile.

Sundin remains hopeful he can play tomorrow night at the Air Canada Centre against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Sundin, whose vision in his left eye won't be normal for another couple of weeks, likes the new open-ice NHL.

"It has been 12 years probably since I was in a 10-4 game or something like that," Sundin said of the Ottawa Senators' pasting of the Buffalo Sabres Wednesday night. "It (generally) has been exciting to watch. There is more action. Once guys get used to the new rules, we are going to see more of a physical game and hopefully keep getting the goals."

BACK TO TOBACCO ROAD?

The sale of Jeff O'Neill's Raleigh home closes next month but the former Hurricane won't be surprised if he buys another one here in the future.

"I might end up settling here in the winter," O'Neill said. "That Canadian winter can be a little long. You can say what you want about people from North Carolina -- (the word) 'rednecks' is thrown out there -- but these are the nicest people you will ever meet in your life. The weather is great and it's a great place for families."

SHOWING RESPECT

The Leafs' Tie Domi has a fan in Sabres enforcer Andrew Peters.

"If you're asking if Tie Domi is kind of a role model for guys who play this role, I would say yes," Peters told Sun Media. "I respect a guy like Domi because he came into the league as a tough guy and has made himself into a player who contributes. That's what we're all trying to accomplish."

Peters was not impressed that Brian McGrattan of the Senators beat Domi in a fight last Saturday.

"Domi has beat up everybody in the league at some time or another," Peters said. "You're not going to win them all. Yes, it's even going to happen to a guy like Tie Domi. There's no shame in losing."


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