Kaberle spurns Kubina

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

Good move by the overly secretive Leafs to restore some personal player tidbits in this year's media guide, such as favourite music, celebrity they'd most like to meet and their first job outside of hockey.

It's what almost every other team in the NHL does to punch up all those dry pages of statistics. Mats Sundin is a would-be electrician who would like to one day shake hands with former South African president Nelson Mandela, Hal Gill wants to teach math and Ian White used to be a waiter at a pancake house.

That said, Pavel Kubina is going to be crushed, after listing Tomas Kaberle as his best friend in the NHL, while Kaberle picked ex-teammate Danny Markov as his best bud.

ROCKING AT THE RICOH

The Marlies are off to a running start after a season opening win over Rochester. General manager John Ferguson hopes that the players who need the development get the chance, such as Jiri Tlusty and Justin Pogge, after almost all hands were summoned to the NHL last year during the injury crisis.

"We've put together a competitive club, with a good mix of (older and younger players) and we hope to create a buzz in the market," Ferguson said.

"We'll be better in goal (Scott Clemmensen backing up prospect Justin Pogge) and tougher to play against."

After years without a marquee scoring threat, most promoted to the Leafs such as Kyle Wellwood, the Marlies have Simon Gamache, Tony Salmelainen and David Ling, all capable of lighting it up.

Ben Ondrus was named captain of the Marlies last week, replacing the retired Marc Moro.

OVERTIME KABERLE'S TIME

Kaberle's aversion to shooting in favour of the unselfish pass seems to be waning. He's always had a nice low drive and he's using it more this season. But his penchant for passing seems to be a 60-minute habit. With Saturday night's winning goal against Montreal, he now has seven regular-season overtiime goals, breaking a three-way tie for second place with Wendel Clark and Steve Thomas, moving him five behind franchise leader Sundin.


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