Bates back to Marlies

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

The Maple Leafs have parked winger Bates Battaglia with the Toronto Marlies for a 14-day conditioning stint.

Battaglia, who cleared NHL waivers on Tuesday, can be summoned from the farm by the Leafs next week if they want to bring extra bodies on the longest part of their seven-game road odyssey through Carolina and Florida.

"He'll go down there and get his ice time up," coach Paul Maurice said of the 32-year-old Battaglia, who had said the day before he would not fight a demotion.

KRONWALL HURTING

The division-leading Marlies could use some roster help. As the Leafs flew to Atlanta yesterday, the Marlies were on a plane to Philadelphia for back-to-back AHL games against the Phantoms and Hershey Bears, without forward Alex Foster and defencemen Bryan Muir and Staffan Kronwall.

Kronwall, just demoted by the Leafs last week, will be out two weeks with what coach Greg Gilbert called an upper body injury.

Gilbert said there has been no lip dragging by winger Jiri Tlusty, who looked ready to stay with the Leafs after getting two goals in his NHL debut, but was dropped along with Kronwall. Tlusty also was overlooked by the Czech national junior team.

"You hope he will get back and step up and so far he has," Gilbert said of Tlusty. "He's doing a lot of little things better on defence."

Gilbert continues to split the goaltending between Justin Pogge and Scott Clemmensen, with Pogge set to play this evening.

LOOSE LEAFS

Darcy Tucker missed practice yesterday with a flu bug that Maurice said one of the winger's kids brought home. He's expected to play tonight. John Pohl, the lone extra Leaf at present, took his place ... Maurice had to stop yesterday's press conference at Lakeshore Lions Arena when a radio reporter's cell phone loudly went off with a Sweet Home Alabama ring tone. "Lynyrd Skynyrd," Maurice noted and then told the TV reporters "either we can start again, or you can all sing along."


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