Coyotes plan a visit

LANCE HORNBY and MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes are coming to Toronto next autumn as part of a two-game exhibition series with the Leafs.

There will be one game in Toronto and the other in Winnipeg in the MTS Centre, which seats 15,003 and one day could support an NHL team. The series was worked out between Leafs general manager John Ferguson and Coyotes counterpart Mike Barnett.

Next season also will see the Leafs make their first trip to Phoenix since the lockout as part of their scheduled swing through the Pacific Division. The Leafs will be playing a condensed eight-game exhibition schedule, with the encroaching NHL regular season schedule making it difficult to fit in any special trips, such as the Los Angeles Kings' visit to England.

TUCKER TIME

A return by Maple Leafs forward Darcy Tucker does not appear to be too far off.

Tucker has played just one game since suffering tiny fractures in his left foot after being hit with a shot on Dec. 26.

"I believe we'll be seeing him in a boot in the next few days," coach Paul Maurice said. "We hope to see him at practice by the end of the week."

Tucker is scheduled to accompany the Leafs on their three-game trip that includes stops at Long Island, Philadelphia and Montreal.

Michael Peca, meanwhile, hopes to skate in three weeks. Peca suffered a fractured leg during a game on Dec. 22.

THE CUP RUNNETH OVER

The Leafs took some heat for not having the Stanley Cup on hand when the 1967 champion Buds were honoured Saturday. But there is a good reason why. According to the team, the Cup was in Michigan with former NHL player Willie O'Ree at the time


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