McCabe talks non-existent

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Contract talks between Bryan McCabe's agent and the Maple Leafs have not stalled so much as they have not really gotten off the ground.

McCabe's agent, Jeff Solomon, said yesterday he has had a couple of discussions with Leafs general manager John Ferguson. But, Solomon said, those talks have been nothing more than preliminary. And he has not spoken to Ferguson since before the Olympic break.

"I can't predict what will happen in the future because it is in the club's control," Solomon said. "But Bryan loves it there."

Solomon said he has not addressed with his client the idea of exploring the open market come July 1, when McCabe is slated to become an unrestricted free agent.

On Feb. 11, the Leafs signed Tomas Kaberle to a five-year extension at $4.25 million US a season.

Solomon dismissed the idea that McCabe was miffed because he was not signed before Kaberle.

McCabe, 30, makes $3.458 million US this season. The thinking is he would be looking for a pact in the range of $5 million a year.

ONE UNLIKE THE OTHERS

Four Leafs were missing from practice yesterday.

Three -- Olympic medallists Mats Sundin (gold), Aki Berg (silver) and Tomas Kaberle (bronze) -- were given the day off to rest.

The other absentee was Jason Allison.

Leafs coach Pat Quinn said Allison was nursing a stiff neck. Allison, who played for 17 minutes 20 seconds during a 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, is expected to be in the lineup tomorrow night in Buffalo versus the Sabres.

POGGE TOPS

Leafs prospect Justin Pogge has been named the top player in the Canadian Hockey League by a 19-member panel commissioned by Prospects Hockey magazine.

The 90th pick overall by the Leafs in 2004, Pogge helped lead Canada to the gold medal at the world junior hockey championship in Vancouver in January.

With the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen this season, Pogge has been stellar and leads the league in most of the goaltending categories.

The Leafs signed Pogge to a three-year deal in December.


Photos