Salmelainen goes home

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:32 AM ET

Tony Salmelainen has left the Maple Leafs organization.

Don't expect Tomas Kaberle to follow suit.

On the Salmelainen front, the Leafs announced last night that the speedy forward had left the AHL Marlies for "personal reasons," adding that he had returned to Finland and would not return. As a result, he has been suspended by the team for failure to comply with the terms of his NHL Standard Players Contract.

Salmelainen left the team 11 days ago.

"Things are going on with his family," general manager John Ferguson said last night, adding that "he wasn't really here long enough for us to be disappointed."

Meanwhile the Leafs strongly denied an internet report that Kaberle is being shopped around, possibly to Atlanta as part of a package for forward Marian Hossa, whose contract is up at the end of the season.

Thrashers general manager/coach Don Waddell said Hossa just changed agents.

"I'm confident we'll get something done with him," Waddell said.

PROUD POPPA

Forward Boyd Devereaux returned to the lineup last night after a three-game absence with a bad back.

But returning to action was not the only reason the Leafs forward was sporting an omnipresent smile yesterday.

Devereaux was still glowing over the birth of his second child. Daughter Lucy was born Monday at 2 p.m. and weighed 8 lbs., 2.5 ounces.

"My wife is still at the hospital but she sent me home," Devereaux said after yesterday's morning skate at the Air Canada Centre.

TEAM BONDING?

With a circus-like atmosphere surrounding the team for the past three weeks, some Leafs don't mind that 10 of the next 16 tilts will take place on the road.

The stint away from the Air Canada Centre begins tomorrow when the Leafs face the Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.

"We haven't really had time to spend together as a team," defenceman Bryan McCabe said.


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