Keep gloves on, please

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

EDMONTON -- Paul Maurice wants no fighting initiated by his Maple Leafs in the next eight exhibition games, but that desire comes with an asterisk.

"As long as we win them, I'm fine," the Leafs coach said with a straight face.

Fisticuffs have been prominent in some early exhibitions around the National Hockey League and Maurice understands a couple of his players might have to stand up for themselves in an altercation as the only way to show the coach what they can bring to the table.

"A guy such as Nathan Perrott has to hit," Maurice said of the fourth-line checker.

"But that's why he couldn't play in the Blue and White game. He can't go into (star defenceman) Tomas Kaberle's corner with that attitude."

LEAFS BUCK UP

The Leafs' bank account has been improving even before the puck dropped last night on their exhibition season.

The rising loonie -- more than 97 cents US as of this week -- continues to help the Leafs' American dollar payroll. Compare it to 2003, when the buck was wallowing in the 75-cent range.

But the Leafs don't get an automatic windfall. Like many teams, they're locked in at a lower dollar rate for their fiscal year, which usually ends in the spring.

"We have to hedge it like that because it works both ways and the dollar can go down," general manager John Ferguson said.

"But with six top revenue producing teams in Canada, a higher dollar is good for all our clubs."

ONCE A FAN

Andrew Cogliano realized a dream last night -- getting on the ice against his hometown Leafs.

But the Woodbridge native was cognizant he is employed by the Edmonton Oilers.

"The Leafs were my favourite team, but that has changed now," said the 20-year-old forward, a first-round pick of the Oilers in 2005.

"I'm pumped for this. Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle were my favourite players, but they're just the other guys (last night). I rolled my ankle and sprained it a few days ago and I had been anxiously waiting to see if it would be okay for this game."


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