The return of JFJ

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Fired Leafs general manager John Ferguson has been retained as a scout for Team Canada's entry at the world hockey championships this May, according to TSN.

That could make for an interesting press box seating plan if he comes by the ACC in the coming weeks to see his old team face another playoff castaway. And not only is Ferguson on general manager Steve Yzerman's staff, but so is Doug Armstrong, the fired GM of the Dallas Stars and another aspirant to take Ferguson's old post.

Among the Leafs who could be of interest to Team Canada are winger Boyd Devereaux, centre Matt Stajan and defencemen Ian White and Bryan McCabe.

The world championships are May 2-18 in Halifax and Quebec City. Ferguson helped out Yzerman's staff last year evaluating Eastern Conference players when Canada won the gold medal.

WOZ ON THE BUSES

Andy Wozniewski said a few weeks ago that his slump likely was linked to the entire Leafs' funk.

The 27-year-old defenceman will get a chance to fix his game with the Marlies after clearing waivers at noon yesterday. He was demoted to make roster room for McCabe's return.

"I've been up and down this year," Wozniewski said as he departed the Bell Centre yesterday morning. "I'm just going to do what they say, keep working at (his total game).

"(The Marlies) have got a great team. I'm going to go down and contribute to it."

LOW RYDER

One of the big topics in Montreal of late is what to do with winger Michael Ryder, whose low 18-point output and dwindling contract make him trade bait.

"I'm still part of this team... and the team is winning," the Newfoundlander said yesterday morning. "Who knows what will happen in the next two weeks (approaching the trade deadline)?"

KILGER OUT LONG TERM?

Chad Kilger's absence from the lineup for family reasons could stretch into weeks.

Though the Leafs have not pressured the winger into coming back, they have had no news for the media on when he might even resume practising. Last night marked the fourth game he has missed and he's presumably out of game shape.

LOOSE LEAFS

The Leafs are denying a report that they've signed 5-foot-8 Swedish free agent forward Linus Klasen ... As part of Hockey Day In Canada tomorrow, former captain turned club ambassador Wendel Clark and a group of Leaf community workers will run a hockey clinic in Winkler, Man., host city for the CBC marathon telecast.


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