Another Leaf sidelined

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

The Maple Leafs forward ranks have been depleted again.

Already missing left wingers Alexei Ponikarovsky and Alex Steen and callup Darryl Boyce with shoulder injuries, the Leafs will be without lanky Chad Kilger tonight when they face off against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. The Leafs announced that Kilger did not accompany the team on its flight to Carolina because of "personal reasons."

With Kilger not available, the Leafs called up forward Ben Ondrus from the American Hockey League Marlies, where he collected 44 points in 14 games.

On a positive note, coach Paul Maurice said he "expects" Nik Antropov to play despite missing yesterday's practice at Lakeshore Lions Arena.

"He was just a bit under the weather," Maurice said.

Forward Boyd Devereaux did not take part in the workout either, but managed to skate before practice with assistant coach Keith Acton. The veteran has a wrist injury.

As for the healing Bryan McCabe, Maurice said he has "been back skating and has shot a few pucks." Maurice is hopeful that McCabe, who broke three bones in his left hand back on Dec. 15, will be back in two weeks, if not sooner.

TRADE PRESSURES

Darcy Tucker did not mince his words.

Asked by reporters if he would consider waiving his no-trade clause in order to accommodate a deal out of Toronto, Tucker was not amused.

"I'm not talking about that at all," Tucker said defiantly.

With the Air Canada Center press box stuffed with 18 scouts from 16 teams Tuesday night, the players understand they are being watched. Of course, there was speculation that some of those scouts were on hand because they had just returned via bus from the AHL all-star game in Binghamton earlier in the day.

In any event, there is no doubt teams are interest in a number of Leafs with captain Mats Sundin topping the list.

"If he were traded, it's a big minus for us," said rookie forward Jiri Tlusty, who played on a line with Sundin and Antropov in the Leafs' 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Tuesday. "He's a great leader, great player, great man. I think it would be a (loss) for us."


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