Leafs forward Jeremy Williams got a jolt of bad new as he was getting ready for practice yesterday at the St. Pete Times Forum. The winger, who has been shuffled up between the Marlies and the Leafs this season, learned that he was being placed on waivers and could be lost to the team should another club pick him up today.
"There are still holes in his game, a lack of consistency," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "Until a player shows that kind of consistency on both side of the puck, you have to learn your craft in the minors, it's as simple as that.
"If (he clears waivers), he will help the Marlies and he will help himself."
In 11 games with the Leafs this year, Williams had five goals and two assists. Though he accompanied the team on the current trip, he was a healthy scratch in Montreal this past Saturday and Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.
With two goals and two assists in a pair of games playing alongside Jason Blake and Dominic Moore, Nik Hagman was looking like a nice fit with the energetic line.
Wilson hopes some of that will rub off as he is switching Hagman back to his old unit alongside Nik Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski for tonight's game against the Lightning.
"(Hagman) is playing a little more relaxed and confident and hopefully he can get (Kulemin and Grabovski going) and give us some more balance," Wilson said.
Replacing Hagman with Blake and Moore will be struggling Lee Stempniak.
"Looking at Lee's numbers, they are not very good," Wilson said of Stempniak, who hasn't scored since Jan. 21 and has just eight on the season. "He has to play better but playing with (Moore and Blake) seems to be an elixir for a lot of guys on our team. Hopefully they can get Lee to relax and produce some offence."
Attention snow birds: The Lightning was advertising $15 tickets for tonight's game in what sounded like a bid to attract Maple Leafs fans wintering on the Gulf Coast. Or how about this deal: For $39 you can buy two tickets get two beer or sodas and two hot dogs.