Quinn's war zone trip unlikely

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

Pat Quinn saluted his former MLSEL employers for a fine Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11, but his proposed visit to Canadian forces personnel in Afghanistan might never take place.

The former Leafs and Canadian Olympic team coach was invited by Gen. Rick Hillier earlier this year when the latter visited the Leafs' dressing room.

Quinn, whose father was in the navy in World War II, said last week that nothing further has been discussed, but he thinks the worsening security situation in Afghanistan will make any visit too difficult.

CROWD PLEASERS

The newer Leafs were in shock yesterday when a routine practice attracted about 7,000 fans to the Air Canada Centre, complete with chants, team flags and even a wave that went around the stands as coach Paul Maurice held a couple of centre-ice briefings.

"It felt like a game out there for us," Chicago-born left winger Bates Battaglia said. "That looked like (as many people) as some places we'd go on the road. It's pretty impressive. It's hockey all the time here and it's cool to be around."

The Leafs have scored just two goals in their past two games and though Maurice, can get vocal and agitated if his drills aren't done properly, he was careful not to show emotion.

"I'd choose my words differently in an empty building," he admitted.

Proceeds from ticket sales yesterday went to the Leafs Fund.

MADE OF METAL

The younger Leafs dressing room is manifesting itself in different ways, such as the choice of music on the dressing-room stereo.

"It's all the bangers now, the heavy metal stuff," said 10-year veteran Wade Belak. "When guys such as Tie (Domi) were here, it was club music, thump, thump, thump.

"You have a lot of kids in here eager to be in the NHL and that rubs off."


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