Harrison gets the message

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

Leafs rookie defenceman Jay Harrison did not have a big problem with being taken out of the lineup last night. Harrison, 23, has skated in four games, averaging eight minutes, 54 seconds a night. He was a team-low minus-five.

"It is a personal step backward, but it is a necessary one," Harrison said. "There are some things I need to get in order and learn as a young defenceman in this league.

"It's a matter of identifying plays, learning forechecks, what kind of habits forwards bring and noticing how much time defencemen have."

CONDITIONING TIME

Carlo Colaiacovo returned to competitive game action last night for the first time since suffering a concussion last January in Ottawa against the Senators.

The 23-year-old defenceman yesterday was assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment and was in uniform last night in Hamilton against the Bulldogs.

Colaiacovo, who is on long-term injury status and cannot be activated by the Leafs until Oct. 28 at the earliest, also is scheduled to play for the Marlies tomorrow and on Wednesday.

In terms in the collective bargaining agreement, Colaiacovo is eligible to play three games in the minors for conditioning purposes after spending 14 days on LTI. If the Leafs wish, they can apply for Colaiacovo to be eligible for another two games.

JACKETS FIT CARTER

Anson Carter's name was linked to theLeafs in the summer but the Scarborough native said he did not come close to signing with Toronto.

"We had discussions but they did not really go much further than that,"the 32-year-old said.

"Just preliminary talks. There was definitely interest on our side, that's for sure, being from Toronto. They had other decisions to make and that's fine. I was excited when Columbus came calling."

Carter, coming off a career-high 33 goals with the Vancouver Canucks, did not sign with the Blue Jackets until Sept. 13.

"If you don't sign on July 1, there is no one saying you have to sign July 2," Carter said. "People were saying 'Carter should be worried, he is not going to play this year.' Camp hadn't started, so what was the rush?"


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