Hall of Famer Ted (Teeder) Kennedy, former captain of the Leafs and a member of five Toronto Stanley Cup teams, is in a St. Catharines hospital after a bad fall at his home.
The 81-year-old whose No. 9 is an honoured sweater with the Leafs, played from 1942 until 1957. His 560 points rank ninth in team history and were the most of any Leaf from the war years.
ACTON ENCOURAGES KESSEL
As the Boston Bruins ended practice yesterday morning, defenceman Phil Kessel was introduced to Leafs assistant coach Keith Acton by Kessel's head coach, Dave Lewis.
Both Kessel and Acton have fought testicular cancer, the teenaged Kessel undergoing surgery last month.
"It was nice talking to him, since he has gone through it, too," Kessel said. "He had a lot of encouraging things to say to me. He seems like a great guy."
Kessel's recovery has sped up in recent days, to the point where the Bruins might use him tomorrow against Philadelphia. He was to be assessed by club doctors last night.
"I'm a little tired, trying to get the legs back," Kessel said. "We'll see what happens as the week goes on."
MUCKLER SEES BLUE
Ottawa Senators general manager John Muckler left little doubt that the Leafs tried to block his club from claiming forward Petr Nedved on waivers Tuesday. The Senators' claim was trumped by a team below them, likely the Leafs, while Edmonton, which is behind both Northeast Division clubs, wound up with Nedved.
"I think there was some hanky-panky there," Muckler told the Ottawa media. "They didn't want him to come to the Senators."
Toronto GM John Ferguson had no comment when asked whether he made a Nedved claim earlier this week.
WORDS AND DEEDS
Lewis attended the number retirement ceremony for former Red Wings teammate Steve Yzerman in Detroit on Tuesday. "The proudest thing for me was in 1997 when the team won its first Cup (in 42 years). I was glad, because people had been criticizing Stevie for not being a good leader. People in the locker room never believed that, but (winning) was the only way to prove it."