Toronto trade winds?

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:56 AM ET

The pressure on the Maple Leafs to make a trade has diminished with their recent win streak, but that doesn't mean the club has stopped looking.

National Hockey League teams have until midnight Wednesday to complete a trade, waiver move or loan before the holiday roster freeze takes effect until midnight Dec. 27.

"There has been (trade) talk around the league and it continues," Toronto general manager John Ferguson said last night. "But I don't get the feeling that a one-week freeze is going to be the impetus for anyone to (fast track a deal)."

With winger Bates Battaglia in limbo after clearing waivers on Tuesday, the Leafs could be adding someone from the Marlies for insurance before they leave for the longest part of their seven-game road swing on Monday, playing Carolina, Tampa and Florida. Without Battaglia, John Pohl is their only extra player, though winger Wade Belak can step in on defence.

Carlo Colaiacovo continues to work out on his own with a possibility of joining the Leafs in Florida to resume practising with the team. He has tentatively targeted games after Christmas for his first game action.

"We'll get through the Atlanta and Montreal games first and see where we stand," Ferguson said.

TAKING A BREATHER

The Leafs are in the midst of three days off, a break they've only been afforded twice so far this year and one that resulted in them playing more games than most teams in the league. Thanks to a 5-1-1 spurt, the Leafs put some pressure on other clubs to win the games in hand they hold on the Leafs.

"It all balances out," coach Paul Maurice said. "But you would like to play about every second night."

Matt Stajan said the Leafs didn't get too worked up when they played a whack of games and were still trailing in the standings.

'We're not even halfway through the schedule yet," Stajan reminded. "The schedule is what it is for us, but everyone plays 82 in the end."

LOOSE LEAFS

With a two-to-three hour flight to Montreal for a back-to-back after tomorrow's game in Atlanta, it's possible Maurice will use Andrew Raycroft in goal against the Thrashers. But Vesa Toskala will also be coming off a three-day rest for the two games ... The AHL Marlies leave today for a two-day weekend road trip in Philadelphia and Hershey. They expect forward Alex Foster to return from upper body stiffness.


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