Club stays focused

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 6:47 AM ET

Their No. 2 centre, Kyle Wellwood, is recovering from groin surgery.

Young defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo remains sidelined while his surgically-repaired knee heals.

Former San Jose Shark Mark Bell is out until Nov. 6 while he serves his 15-game suspension.

And now, in the most recent installment of the daytime drama As The Leafs Turn, forward Jason Blake has been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.

All this, and the regular season is not yet a week old for the Maple Leafs.

"Our focus has not changed," general manager John Ferguson said last night. "We still like our group. We are coming together, and things will continue to improve when Kyle, Mark and Carlo are back.

"I'm not a medical expert, but those we consulted with feel Jason can continue to play."

Blake's teammates were shocked when he delivered the news of his disease to them prior to practice.

"We are going to rally around Jason," forward Darcy Tucker said. "We have let him know that he won't have to go through this alone."

Tucker recalled his days in Tampa Bay when Lightning teammate John Cullen, a former Leaf, was being treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Almost every Leaf interviewed yesterday has had their lives touched by cancer in some way.

"My mother (Dianna) had cancer and went through the whole chemotherapy thing," defenceman Ian White said. "She's been doing well for almost five years now, which is the magic number."

'CANES ARE ABLE

Having played the previous night in Washington, the entire Hurricanes team attended the Redskins-Detroit Lions game at Fedex Field Sunday.

"It was great but it was it hot," forward Eric Staal said.

With Staal's Canes hosting Jordan Staal's Pittsburgh Penguins last Friday, the two forwards spent the previous night on Eric's couch in Raleigh watching a third brother, Marc, on TV playing for the Rangers.

"Jordan and I looked at each other and said: "Man, there's three of us in the league now," Eric said.


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