Worlds wait for the Leafs

MIKE ZEISBERGER and LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:55 AM ET

Tomas Kaberle is definitely going. Not so for defence partner Pavel Kubina. Bryan McCabe is staying put, too.

There is interest in Matt Stajan, but nothing official as of yet. As for Anton Stralman, he is still waiting to see where he will be playing.

Vesa Toskala? Who knows.

Welcome to your world hockey championship update -- Maple Leafs' edition.

On the day the Maple Leafs cleaned out their lockers, Kubina confirmed he would not be joining Kaberle on the Czech national team for the tournament, which is being held May 2-20 in Halifax and Quebec City.

"I've been fighting a bad chest infection," Kubina said yesterday. "I was told I need four weeks off to rest it."

McCabe bowed out of any consideration for Team Canada. "Bad timing," he said with a laugh. "My wife will (give birth) in three weeks and we have one now, so I'll be on daddy duty."

Stajan is on the Team Canada radar but has been put on hold until officials see the entire talent pool available to them, including any first-round Stanley Cup playoff exits.

Stralman would love to play for Team Sweden, but interim general manager Cliff Fletcher wants assurances from the Swedes that the young defenceman will get regular ice time. If not, he will be Marlies-bound along with forwards Kris Newbury, Jiri Tlusty and defenceman Staffan Kronwall.

Toskala, meanwhile, said the odds of him playing for Finland are "50-50."

"I'm going to have a meeting with the doctor soon and decide then," he said.

BELL FEELING 'A LITTLE JOY'

Forward Mark Bell had goals in consecutive games to end a disappointing debut as a Leaf. He missed more than half the year on league suspension and the injured list.

"I take a little joy out of the last couple of games ... I feel I can still produce and put up points," the former 20-goal scorer said.

Bell was vague about when he might start serving all or part of a six-month jail term for a 2006 alcohol-related hit and run near San Jose, Calif.


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