The agent for Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake disputed a published report last week that his client is unhappy and wouldn't object to a trade.
"Jason called me after that story came out and assured he wants to win in Toronto," Minneapolis-based Neil Sheehy said. "He didn't say anything in the story that (general manager) Cliff Fletcher hasn't said before, that the Leafs could be looking to make changes and I've spoken to Cliff to (underline) that."
But Blake was a disappointment in the first of a five-year, $20-million US contract, scoring just 15 times. That deal makes it almost impossible to move him (the Leafs tried unsuccessfully last season) or buy him out.
Blake, who is a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy after his season-long bout with a treatable form of leukemia, continues to lead a near-normal life with medication in pill form.
CANUCKS HIRE MELLANBY
Driving his kids to school and spending time with the family was great, but NHL veteran Scott Mellanby was anxious to get back into the game where he'd spent 20 years of his life.
That's why Mellanby was thrilled when Mike Gillis, the new general manager of the Vancouver Canucks, contacted him and offered him a job as a consultant.
"I think Mike valued my opinion and my experience in the league," Mellanby, 41, said. "I was fortunate to play 20 years, through a lot of different situations from teams like the Philadelphia Flyers, who have been around for a while, to expansion teams.
"I played with a lot of players. I think I have a lot of things to offer."
A Canucks release said Mellanby's job will be to assist Gillis in consulting in all areas of the hockey operations department and specifically professional player personnel.
Mellanby retired following the 2006-07 season.
RISEBROUGH STAYING PUT
New Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold is not at all worried about losing his general manager, quashing curiosity whether Doug Risebrough would listen if the Maple Leafs made a pitch for him to fill their GM vacancy.
Or from anybody else, for that matter.
"This is the marquee market," Leipold said.
BURNS LEAVES BENCHMARK
Pat Burns hasn't been a head coach in the NHL since 2003-04, but fans remember him and his courageous battle with cancer. Burns, an assistant with Team Canada, is the leading name in separate newspaper polls in Denver and San Jose to be the next head coach of the Avalanche and Sharks respectively.
The Rocky Mountain News had him at 27% to replace Joel Quenneville with the Avs.
In the San Jose Mercury News' poll to replace Ron Wilson, early results had Burns leading candidates with 57 votes.