Sifers sent down

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

The Jaime Sifers era is over -- at least for now.

The Maple Leafs shipped the rookie defenceman back to the AHL Marlies yesterday and recalled veteran blueliner Anton Stralman, who played 50 games for the Leafs last season.

"Hopefully Strally will be able to move some pucks quick and help out on our power play," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said.

Wilson has said that the loss of defenceman Mike Van Ryn, who is out with a concussion, has really hurt the team's power play and is hoping Stralman can do the job.

Stralman, 22, has three points in 12 games for the Marlies and is a plus one. Sifers picked up two assists and is a minus six in his 14 games with the Leafs this season.

Interestingly, the Leafs have showed no interest in bringing back another veteran blueliner Staffan Kronwall, who has 20 points in 34 games with the Marlies this season and is a plus 14.

Kaberle takes a seat

Veteran defenceman Tomas Kaberle did not practise with the team yesterday because of an undisclosed lower-body injury, although he is expected to play tonight in Carolina against the Hurricanes.

"I'm feeling good, it's just precautionary reasons with two games coming up, back to back," Kaberle said of his absence from practice. "I have a little lower-body (injury) and we didn't want to make it worse."

Kaberle played more than 25 minutes in Toronto's 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Williams ready

Winger Jeremy Williams, who has five goals in 10 games with the Leafs this season, practised yesterday. He has missed the past six games with a shoulder injury and is hoping to play in one of the next three games. The Leafs have just nine goals in their past six games and clearly miss Williams' offence.

"It feels pretty good. I was rubbed out a few times (in practice) and it feels almost back to 100%," Williams said of his shoulder. "It was really nice to be able to practise with the full team. It's always tough skating on your own, you can't really judge where you are and how things are feeling until you practise."

Neither veteran defenceman Jeff Finger (upper-body injury) nor Van Ryn will not return tonight in Carolina or tomorrow in Atlanta. Rookie winger Nikolai Kulemin also did not practise yesterday because of a sore ankle.

Out of control

Rookie centre Mikhail Grabovski will miss tonight's game but will return to the lineup for tomorrow's game in Atlanta, having missed the past three games because of a suspension.


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