Gamache wants out

MIKE ZEISBERGER and ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Simon Gamache wishes he still was in Switzerland.

Having helped Canada win the Spengler Cup this week in the picturesque mountain town of Davos, Gamache is back in Canada with the Marlies.

But he makes no secret of the fact that he doesn't want to be here. In fact, he has told management exactly that.

"I actually asked for my release," Gamache said. "But (the Leafs brass) would not release me."

Gamache, who turned 27 yesterday, racked up 66 points in 44 games with Bern of the Swiss elite league a year ago, leading to a contract with the Leafs organization over the summer.

Once of the pleasant surprises of Leafs training camp, Gamache had two goals and two assists in 11 games with the parent NHL club before being sent to the Marlies. He has four goals and three assists in 17 games with the American Hockey League club, all the while wishing he was back in the Swiss league rather than with the Marlies.

"If I'm not with the Leafs, then I would rather go back to Switzerland," he said. "As soon as possible.

"Don't get me wrong. They have a bunch of great guys here with the Marlies. But my heart just isn't into it. If I'm not with the Leafs I don't really want to be here.

"I'm not having fun in the minors. I don't want to be in the minors. Like I said, if that is the case, I might as well be in Switzerland and resume things there.

"I'm definitely not hiding this."

Entering the 2007-08 season Gamache had appeared in 37 career NHL games, scoring six goals and adding seven assists in stints with the Atlanta Thrashers, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.

He was loaned by the Toronto organization to the Canadian entry at the Spengler Cup, where he joined former Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph and former captain Doug Gilmour, who was an assistant coach.

"(Cujo) played awesome," Gamache said.

TOSKALA RESTS

The Leafs appear in no hurry to rush Vesa Toskala back into the lineup -- nor does the team's No. 1 goaltender himself. Toskala did participate in the game-day skate, however, and could return as early as next week. That allowed Scott Clemmensen to make his second consecutive start.

CAST OFF

Injured defenceman Bryan McCabe no longer needs a cast for his healing left hand. His second cast was removed yesterday, replaced by a sling. "At least I can wash my hand now," he said, jokingly.

McCabe is expected to be out until after the all-star break at the end of this month.


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