Leafs OK with me: Witt

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:41 AM ET

Defenceman Brendan Witt knows his time as a Washington Capital is nearing the end and he wouldn't mind if a personal new beginning began in a Maple Leafs sweater.

"Toronto was always my father's (Leonard) favourite hockey team," the 6-foot-2, 223-pound Saskatchewan native said. "It's a good hockey town, good fans and a good place to play."

But Witt, who made his wish to be traded from the Capitals clear early in the season, certainly is not limiting his desire to one club. And he would be on loan anyway, in all likelihood. Witt, who is represented by Paul Theofanus, is bound to be an unrestricted free agent this summer and would like to test the open waters.

Capitals general manager George McPhee told the Toronto Sun on Thursday that Witt will be dealt, it's simply a matter of time.

Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig, meanwhile, wants to sign a two-year extension with Washington.

"I think physically I still have another five years in me, and play until I am 40," Kolzig said. "In two years if the team is close, I would love to be here. With some additions next year we are going to be very competitive and hopefully within two years we will be doing these interviews in June."

NO TIME TO WASTE

Matt Stajan has hit a bump in his sophomore season.

The Leafs forward was averaging 11 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time a game going into last night. But Stajan had played more than 10 minutes in one game just once in the previous 12 outings.

"As a coach you keep wanting him to challenge himself and not just be happy with the occasional penalty kill and fourth-line role," coach Pat Quinn said. "His defensive game has been pretty good. There is not a physical element to his game so he has to be efficient and try to get himself to be a mistake-free player."

Stajan, who has 16 points in 53 games this season, was trying not to be discouraged with his lesser role.

"I know I'm young (22) and it's good to see the young players are getting a chance here," Stajan said. "I feel like I have matured as a player. But there is still more to work on and I am going to have to keep getting better."


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