McCabe chasing Turnbull

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

There were 13 Leafs with at least a point in Monday's 9-6 goal-fest with the New York Islanders, but leading scorer Bryan McCabe was somehow blanked in 22:31 of action.

But McCabe's two assists in Ottawa on Saturday night -- on the only two goals to beat Dominik Hasek in an 8-2 Sens win -- gave McCabe an even 40 points. With 49 games remaining, that puts him over halfway to Ian Turnbull's club record of 79 by a defenceman in 1976-77, and within 13 of McCabe's career best last season when he was named an NHL second-team all-star.

NO MORE RETIRED NUMBERS

There will be no retiring of any more Maple Leafs sweater numbers.

Richard Peddie, president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., confirmed yesterday the club has shelved the idea of taking famous numerals such as one, 10, seven and 27 out of circulation as was done for Bill Barilko's No. 5 and Ace Bailey's No. 6 years ago. The others will remain 'honoured' numbers, with recognition in the rafters of the Air Canada Centre, but still available to active players.

"We think it raises the bar for the other players," Peddie said.

Peddie had formed a committee to study the issue in the wake of favourable publicity the Montreal Canadiens received for their latest sweater gesture, raising the No. 12 of Dickie Moore and Yvan Cournoyer in the Bell Centre.

Leafs general manager John Ferguson had written the Toronto Sun last month defending his team's past policy, but Peddie's comments yesterday means there won't be a change in that thinking anytime soon.

"We don't want to retire them," Peddie said.

LOOSE LEAFS

Clearly the Leafs have been wasting their time trying to get slump-ridden players such as Mats Sundin and Jeff O'Neill big goals when the man they should be feeding is Alexei Ponikarovsky. With the low profile winger's goal on Monday -- tying his career high of nine -- the Leafs improved to 8-0-0 in games where he scores at least one ... The Leafs had yesterday off to attend the annual family team skating party at the ACC ... MLSEL chairman Larry Tanenbaum made the rounds of the dressing room afterwards shaking hands with each player.


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