Jay Harrison won't let himself think about what could have been.
The 24-year-old defenceman cleared waivers yesterday and was assigned to the Toronto Marlies, with whom he had been on a conditioning stint.
"Everyone always wants to think the grass is greener on the other side, but in another couple of years I could have looked back and it might not have worked out," Harrison said about not being picked up by another NHL club. "I've made progress in the past year with the Toronto organization and I get to learn under a great staff, whether it is with Greg Gilbert with the Marlies or Paul Maurice with the Leafs."
The precarious nature of being put on waivers is one that NHL players have to live with. But they got a concession in the new collective bargaining agreement, as players now have to be told when they are put on waivers. That was not the case before.
A pair of Leafs -- Wade Belak and Chad Kilger -- were picked up on waivers from Calgary and Montreal respectively. Neither knew they were on waivers until they were claimed by Toronto.
"It was quite a big shock, considering it's your livelihood, and they don't really treat you like humans sometimes," Kilger said.
"It was tough to take. In the new CBA, we have an ability to know, and it's nice to be informed and treated like adults."
Kilger found out the Leafs had claimed him about 20 minutes into a flight to Montreal from Los Angeles.
"I got about six hours to sit around with my old teammates and think about how this rivalry was going to change," Kilger said with a laugh.
Prospect Jiri Tlusty was in Toronto yesterday to undergo an MRI on his ankle, which he sprained during a game with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League last week. Tlusty, the Leafs' first-round pick in June, was on crutches and will be out of the Hounds lineup for four to six weeks.