'07 AHL all-star game goes to ...

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

The Toronto Marlies should hear about their bid to host the 2007 American Hockey League all-star game today.

The club has scheduled a press conference this morning "for a league-related announcement" with AHL president Dave Andrews and members of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. in attendance.

"The game has been discussed," an MLSEL official said last night.

The Sun reported last summer that MLSEL was going to bid for the triple, hosting the National Lacrosse League all-star game this month, the AHL all-stars next year and the 2009 world junior championships.

DAY JOB VS. THE ITALIAN JOB

Team Canada's executive director, its head coach and one of the assistants might not make the playoffs with their NHL teams this year.

But Team Canada head coach Pat Quinn insists his advance work for Turin will not interfere with guiding the Leafs through the final weeks of the schedule.

"The real key here is that we now know each other a lot better as a staff," Quinn said of Florida Panthers' Jacques Martin and Philadelphia Flyers' Ken Hitchcock. "We've spent the last off-season doing all of the technical things that we need to. Everything is in place and we're prepared to hit the ground running (next week), knowing that we have a short period of time.

"It hasn't detracted a great deal from the preparation with our own teams, even though a couple of our teams have been struggling a bit."

Quinn's Leafs are in eighth spot, while Florida and Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes are out of the playoffs at present.

LOOSE LEAFS

Goalie Mikael Tellqvist was showing off his new Olympic mask yesterday, a Viking ship on a blue and yellow background ... Ed Belfour, expected to start his fifth consecutive game tonight, says adjusting to smaller equipment has been an ongoing challenge. Pucks are popping out of his glove frequently. "I'm still working on the equipment, but I feel a lot more comfortable than at the start for sure," he said. "The gloves have always been (tricky) that way because they're a lot lighter now and the padding isn't as soft. It's a lot harder plastic and if you don't catch it right in the pocket, it will pop up sometimes."


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