Who will be back?

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Will Bryan McCabe's booming shot be aimed at a blue and white sweater next year?

Will Jeff O'Neill fly in Toronto, in a plane or on right wing?

Might Tie Domi rent out his second home, the Air Canada Centre penalty box?

Can Aki Berg's next coach possibly be as protective as Pat Quinn in not pointing out his brain cramps in public?

The old gang could be breaking up after tonight's final regular-season game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Some, such as O'Neill, barely have laid down roots here, while McCabe, Domi and Berg have been part of the Leafs scene since 2001. But with no playoff action this year, changes are inevitable, a thought that must be going through the Leafs dressing room.

"I don't want to talk about that," Domi said yesterday as he headed to his car after practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena. "The media has its own opinions on who will be back."

Domi has a contract for next year, but a burgeoning youth movement could see the 36-year-old enforcer traded or bought out.

O'Neill also is under contract, but has mulled retirement after a season marred by his brother's death, poor scoring output and a persistent phobia about flying. But the Leafs' late charge to get close to a playoff spot might have changed his mind.

"I'm going to take my time and rehabilitate my body," O'Neill said. "It has been quite a year and right now I don't know if I'll return."

McCabe's return will be a matter of money, whether the Leafs are willing to go far beyond the $4.25 million US per year they paid partner Tomas Kaberle in a multi-year deal.

"(Changes) go on with teams every year, either through trades or free agency," McCabe said. "(Tonight) will be the last time with this exact group, so that's a disappointment. But we left things a little too late.

"The contract will take care of itself. There will be a lot of time to decide this summer."

Berg, whom Quinn was extremely loyal to over the years, almost has settled on playing in his native Finland next season.


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