Leafs chasing all-star game

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The Maple Leafs plan to bid for the NHL all-star game, but might not get one until 2013.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president and CEO Richard Peddie e-mailed commissioner Gary Bettman two weeks ago asking him to consider Toronto with a list of cities with newer arenas which are on the short list to begin playing host to the game in 2010.

"I know the next couple will go to teams with new rinks, but I pointed out to Gary that we've put enough improvements into the Air Canada Centre (since playing host to the all-star game in 2000) that we should be thought of as a new arena," Peddie said.

Montreal has next year's game as part of the Canadiens' centennial celebration. Peddie confirmed the Leafs will not be attempting to stage any outdoor games, such as those proposed for the new Yankee Stadium in New York and Chicago's Wrigley Field.

"BMO Field just won't work for that," he said.

NETTING A NEW COACH

While the Leafs have a long-range plan to make Curtis Joseph their goaltending coach, the position is up for grabs this season.

"We have tons of candidates and we should announce someone in a week or two," general manager Cliff Fletcher said. "Cujo still wants to play for now and we'll go from there."

BELL RINGS IN

That enforcer forward with a bit of a scoring touch that Fletcher advertised for this week might yet emerge in Mark Bell.

The latter is about a month away from completing his sentence at a California prison farm for a 2006 hit and run incident and Fletcher is getting good reports that he is staying in shape.

Bell had 20 goals with the Chicago Blackhawks a few years ago, but had his orbital bone broken in a fight with Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone at mid-season.


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