Tellqvist prepared for move

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Mikael Tellqvist has shown he can be an NHL goaltender.

Though his first wish is to stay with the Maple Leafs next season, if he has to get employment somewhere else, so be it.

That's the attitude Tellqvist has as the Leafs' regular season winds down with no recent sightings of the 26-year-old Swede, other than those from the end of the bench.

"I think I have proven myself to be a pretty good backup," Tellqvist said. "I still have a way to go to being a No. 1 guy. You have your best years when you are 28, 29, 30. I have two more years to get better."

Questions about Tellqvist's future with the Leafs have arisen in the past few days with the news Jean-Sebastien Aubin has signed a one-year pact at $525,000 US. Since it's a one-way deal, Aubin would have to be paid the same amount if he plays for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.

The Leafs have an option on Tellqvist for next season at $589,000 US, and there's no reason to see why they will not pick it up.

But there is the expectation the Leafs will try to get another goalie in the off-season, so does it make sense for the Leafs to have Aubin, Tellqvist and possibly another netminder under contract when the 2006-07 season begins?

As good as Aubin has been, it's not realistic to expect him and Tellqvist to split goaltending duties with the Leafs next year.

One of Aubin or Tellqvist may be traded in the summer.

"There is nothing I can worry about," Tellqvist said.

"Maybe they are thinking they want him and me in Toronto next year, you never know, so we will wait and see what happens."

Tellqvist watched again last night against the New York Islanders as Aubin did something neither Tellqvist nor Ed Belfour did this season -- start for the ninth time in a row. Both Belfour and Tellqvist had one stretch in which they started eight games.

Tellqvist, who has been nursing a minor injury that wouldn't keep him out anyway, has not played since the double debacle at Montreal's Bell Centre March 23 and 25.

The last question put to Tellqvist yesterday morning was whether he expects to be in camp in September to fight for a job.

"It is hard for me to comment on that,"Tellqvist said."I don't know. I would love to stay here, but it is not up to me to decide that."


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