Leafs wait on Sundin

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 11:29 AM ET

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson suggested that Mats Sundin might be getting more interested in returning to Toronto now that his former team is playing better than expected.

"If you read some of the articles, now all of a sudden he might come back here depending on how we do, and obviously I think we're playing pretty well," Wilson said. "We have a chance to be over .500 in the first month and I don't think anybody thought that was possible. So if he comes back, he comes back. If he doesn't, he doesn't. I'm content with the team we have. It's a hard-working, fun, enthusiastic group to be around."

Sundin has returned to North America and reportedly is heading to Los Angeles for a conditioning stint, before deciding what NHL team he wants to sign with.

In the meantime, Wilson said he will not name a captain yet.

"Well the only guy that I could see being captain (of this team) would be Mats Sundin if he came back. Other than that, I'm content to go this way," Wilson said. "I don't know Mats other than a conversation we had in the summertime, but I have not met one person who did not like Mats Sundin, particularly in our dressing room."

FROGREN ODD MAN OUT

Rookie defenceman Jonas Frogren was the odd man out yesterday, as the Leafs dressed Jeff Finger against Ottawa.

Finger missed the first seven games of the regular season because of a foot injury suffered in the preseason. Wilson also sat Carlo Colaiacovo, for the third time this season, along with Ian White, who has yet to play at all. The Leafs also sent forward Jiri Tlusty, who had zero points in seven games, to the Marlies to open a roster spot for Finger.

"It's a tough decision, but beyond that, you have to take somebody out," Wilson said. "But, again, having some depth on defence is a really good thing in a long NHL season. And we talked to our 'D' about being ready and not let yourself down by getting down because, inevitably, you're going to get an opportunity to get in a game."

NO BLOWOUTS IN SIGHT

Wilson said that he isn't expecting a lot of blowouts this season involving his team, either for or against.

"I think any game we're going to be in is more than likely going to be tight," the coach said.

"Because everybody believes we're offensively challenged. So we have to play fairly close to that. But the last two games we've had 75 shots on goal. That's a lot of shots, we've had a ton of chances and it's only going to be a matter of time before we start to put away some of those chances.

BY THE NUMBERS

Forward Jason Blake is only three games away from playing in his 600th-career NHL game and needs nine assists for No. 200 in his career ... Defenceman Luke Schenn, after seven games, leads all NHL rookies in blocked shots (12), is tied for first in hits (17) and is second in average ice time per game (21:23) ... Tomas Kaberle is 10 points shy of tying Ian Turnbull for third in career points by a Leafs defenceman. Heading into last night's game, Kaberle had 404 points (70 goals, 334 assists), while Turnbull has 414 points (112, 302). Borje Salming is the career leader with 768 (148, 620), while Tim Horton is second with 458 (109, 349). Television personality Jim McKenny is fifth with 327 (81, 246).


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