Foster makes debut

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Alex Foster stepped on to the ice at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium, looked up at the rafters, and was overcome with pride.

It was the Maple Leafs annual rookie tournament this past September, and Foster finally was in the arena in which his father, former NHLer Dwight Foster, was honoured with a banner for being one of the most prolific scorers in Kitchener Rangers history.

"It was great," Alex Foster said. "I had never seen it before."

Last night it was dad's turn to burst with pride.

Having been called up from the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies just 24 hours earlier, Alex, a forward with the reputation of being an energy player, made his NHL debut against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum.

Any advice from dad?

"He just said to enjoy the moment," Alex said. "He said that whether it's Wayne Gretzky or any other player, you only have one first game, so it's very important to go out and have fun.

"I've just been trying to soak in the atmosphere. At least there are a number of guys I knew from the Marlies here, so that helps in the efforts to settle in."

Foster received just 57 seconds of ice time in the first period.

JOB HUNT

Interim general manager Cliff Fletcher added some validity to recent speculation that the top candidates for the full time Leafs president/GM's job might very well be working for another team right now.

No, he did not mention Brian Burke, Ken Holland or anyone else by name.

Fletcher, who is working as a consultant for the job hunt spearheaded by Gordon Kirke and Richard Peddie, was asked where the search stood.

"You'd have to ask Gord Kirke that," Fletcher said. "As far as I know, they haven't interviewed any candidates yet. If a (candidate's) team is still playing -- and all the teams are right now -- you couldn't talk to them any way. That would be tampering."


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