Leafs have fun in the sun

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:09 AM ET

TAMPA -- Brendan Bell's wallet was somewhat lighter yesterday, but the Maple Leafs rookie defenceman was not complaining.

The Leafs, after a day of golfing and fishing on Sunday, held their annual rookie dinner that evening.

"There are a few of us walking around a little bit quicker," Bell said. "There were a lot of us this year so it was not as bad as some of the horror stories I have heard in the past.

"The young guys are mostly quiet in the dressing room but on a night like that we have to be heard, so it was a lot of fun."

Other freshmen on the trip include Carlo Colaiacovo, Kris Newbury, Ben Ondrus and Alex Suglobov.

The Leafs had the option of dusting off their golf clubs Sunday or getting out their rods and tackle, and to a man said the time away from the rink was exactly what they needed.

"Just a different type of atmosphere, away from the hustle and bustle of the hockey world and talking about other things," said defenceman Bryan McCabe, who stayed onshore and golfed. "There is a lot of mental stress during the year and to put that away for one day was fun. And we don't see the sun too often in the winter. Beautiful weather, good company, you can't complain."

Bell was one of the fishermen. Among those who reeled in some redfish, in the range of 12 pounds and 34 inches, were Bates Battaglia and goaltending coach Steve McKichan.

For the 23-year-old Bell, the opportunity to hang with some of the veterans in an area other than the dressing room was welcomed.

"It's nice to see guys in another environment and it helps just to relax in weather like this," he said.


Videos

Photos