Downie off the hook

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

Young Flyers' hot-head Steve Downie received an undisclosed fine, but no suspension for Saturday's sucker punch of Leaf forward Jason Blake.

"We had a conversation with (league vice-president Colin) Campbell and that's it." Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "The rest will be between the league, the Flyers and Steve.

"It was a good talk. He's walking a fine line there, which is basically what he was told. My conversation with Steve was a little harsher than Colin Campbell's."

Downie already served 20 games this year for a wicked pre-season hit on Senators Dean McAmmond. Saturday's incident with Blake, taking a poke while the Leaf's hands were restrained by an official, came in just his fourth game this year.

Blake should be back for tomorrow's game against the Ducks, while Downie felt the Toronto media "blew it up a bit."

OUT OF AFRICA

The Leafs have a few fans in remote Africa thanks to Canadian-born actor Alan Thicke's travels to the continent.

"I take every opportunity to go," Thicke told En Route magazine. "To bond with people there, I bring a duffle bag of (L.A.) Lakers or Maple Leafs T-shirts to trade for their handicrafts. It's much more meaningful than buying stuff from a store."

Among Thicke's unique collection, a carving of two lovers from an isolated village in Tanzania where people live in goat dung huts.

"I think it was worth a dozen shirts." Thicke said.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING

The Leafs haven't played much like a team deserving time off of late, but with three days between games, they stayed off the ice yesterday to enjoy the Los Angeles area. They'll practice in Anaheim today for three games in four nights against the Ducks, Kings and San Jose Sharks.

Vesa Toskala will participate in a full practice today, with an eye to starting tomorrow against the Ducks.

"If he gets through (tomorrow's skate) okay then we'll make the decision," coach Paul Maurice said yesterday.


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