Czerkawski happy as a B

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

The game between the Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins tomorrow is expected to be delayed 10 seconds while the Leafs play a video of Mariusz Czerkawski's highlights in blue and white.

Okay, so that may not be true, but there's no denying that Czerkawski, who last week was claimed off waivers from the Leafs, is a much happier man now that he is back in Beantown. During the 1993-94 season, Czerkawski began his NHL career with the Bruins after he was drafted by Boston in 1991. He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in 1996.

"It's great to be back," Czerkawski told the Boston Globe. "I had my 22nd birthday in Boston, I got my first goal here, a lot of memories. I'm really excited."

Czerkawski made his second debut for the Bruins in a loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday. The 33-year-old did next to nothing for the Leafs, recording four goals and one assist in 19 games. He was a healthy scratch for much of his short time here and played in just three games after Jan. 2.

"I know I can play better, I can be more in front of the net," he said. "I was surprised (that he was wanted). It was great to hear from my agent (Neil Abbott) that Boston was interested. I'm happy to be back and be able to step on the ice and play."

Meanwhile, the Leafs may see another piece of the bad trade they made for Owen Nolan in March 2003. The first-round pick the Leafs gave up in that deal to the San Jose Sharks later was flipped to the Bruins. With it, they took defenceman Mark Stuart, who made his NHL debut Saturday.

MARLIES DEFENCE WOES

The Marlies were forced to go with five defencemen for their game against the visiting Manitoba Moose yesterday. Brad Brown suffered a sprained ankle against the Syracuse Crunch on Saturday and Jay Harrison is at least a week away from returning from a hand injury. Staffan Kronwall also is injured.

The Marlies could lose another defenceman if the Leafs' Alexander Khavanov will miss any time because of an upper-body injury. Brendan Bell likely would be the one recalled if Khavanov can't play.


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