Kronwall sent down

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

Staffan Kronwall is going to get a taste of the farm for the next few days, while Anton Stralman's reluctance to go back to Sweden might have bought him some extra time with the Leafs.

The Leafs demoted Kronwall to the Toronto Marlies yesterday, which general manager John Ferguson said was for both "development and cap management" reasons. Kronwall doesn't need to clear waivers.

The team had made it clear it didn't want youngsters in the press box when they could be playing regularly elsewhere.

HIGHLY REGARDED

Stralman, a highly regarded prospect, was not good enough to crack the top six defencemen on the Leafs, but believes the best place for him if he's not going to start is with his Swedish club team and that country's national program.

The Leafs will likely play a few more games with their present lineup and re-visit the Stralman situation next week.

The Marlies start their season tomorrow at the Ricoh Coliseum against Rochester. Defenceman Phil Oreskovic was demoted from the Marlies to the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL yesterday.

The Leafs chose to stay in their dressing room while the Sens raised the Eastern Conference championship banner as part of last night's pre-game ceremonies.

Some teams might use such an occasion as a source of inspiration, but coach Paul Maurice said he was more concerned about his players getting rusty if they had to stand around for lengthy introductions. Ottawa players did not come out during a tribute to Leafs, broadcaster Joe Bowen on Tuesday night.

"The NHL is trying to streamline this kind of event, but if it's a player being honoured, I think both teams should come out to recognize one of their own," Maurice said.

"One year in Carolina, I won't mention the other team, there was a Ron Francis tribute and they didn't come out where I thought they should. But I guess it depends on how long it is."

LOOSE LEAFS

Winger Wade Belak was scratched for the second straight game.


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