Rumours bounce off Nik

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

Nik Antropov is an expert when it comes to two subjects: Surgeries and trade rumours.

On the medical front, the lanky Maple Leafs forward three times has had his ailing knees operated on, the most recent coming on April 17.

As for the number of times he has heard his name in whispers involving potential deals, well, he says he has lost count.

Brace yourself, Nik. Here we go again.

As Antropov was testing his surgically repaired right knee during a celebrity tennis event at the Rogers Cup yesterday, various blogs and Internet sites continued to suggest he is being shopped by the Leafs in an attempt to open cap room to sign free agent forward Anson Carter, a native of Scarborough.

Antropov flashed a wide grin when the topic came up prior to his first match.

"I've never kept track of the rumours before, but I must have been mentioned 100 times in my career," he said.

"If it happens, it happens. I don't care. I have made it clear that Toronto is where I want to be, but I don't control these things."

Antropov, who signed a one-year, $1-million US deal last month, began skating about 10 days ago and has his sights set on being in top shape when training camp opens in five weeks.

"I feel okay. There is still a month and a half left, so there is still plenty of rehab to do," he said. "Every year, I say I will get used to (the rehab). I just hope to get through it injury free."

While Antropov and partner Gary Leeman held their own on the tennis court, the celebrity event was won by tournament director Grant Connell and musician Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo.


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