Frogren says T.O. is temple of hockey

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

Former Maple Leafs tough guy Tie Domi surprised a few people by showing up at the team's informal workouts at Lakeshore Lions Arena last week.

Perhaps he was looking for the club's new defenceman, Jonas Frogren.

Frogren was on the Farjestads team that hosted the Leafs in a pre-season game in Sweden five years ago and the big defenceman has "fond" memories of that game, and his on-ice meeting with Domi.

Frogren, who skated with his Toronto teammates for the first time yesterday, said he hit former Leafs forward Mikael Renberg in front of the Farjestads net after Renberg ran the goaltender -- and then Domi stuck his nose in.

"Tie Domi asked me if I wanted him to break my neck," Frogren said with a laugh. "It was a pretty amazing feeling."

Ah, you gotta love hockey players.

Frogren was a 1998 Calgary Flames draft pick, but has played the past 10 years in Sweden. To say he is thrilled to be in Toronto would be an understatement.

"I'm 28 but I never gave up on my dream to come to the NHL," he said. "It's the best league in the world and to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs is amazing.

"Toronto is like the temple of hockey in the world and everybody wants to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs," he said, raising some chuckles from a few cynical media types.

Frogren signed a two-year deal with the Leafs on July 9 and though the contract originally was rejected by the NHL over a dispute about his rookie status, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound defenceman said everything is signed, sealed and delivered now and there isn't a problem.

The Leafs aren't expecting much from Frogren offensively, but they do believe he will be a physical force on the blue line.

Frogren is staying with fellow Swede Anton Stralman until he finds a place to live.


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