Talk about teasing a guy.
Maple Leafs forward Boyd Devereaux cleared re-entry waivers on Friday and took part in the pre-game warmup last night, but was scratched for the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Devereaux has 604 games of National Hockey League experience on his resume but has played in none in 2008-09, spending the season so far with the Toronto Marlies. To no surprise, Devereaux would not have had a problem if another NHL team had claimed him on waivers.
"Had it happened, I would have been fine with it," Devereaux said. "That's part of a professional hockey player's life."
The Leafs yesterday loaned forwards Ryan Hollweg and Bates Battaglia to the Marlies. In the case of Battaglia and Devereaux, the Leafs probably would have been okay with losing them on waivers. Neither has a future with the NHL club.
Devereaux acknowledged that getting accustomed to full-time life in the minors took awhile. He spent all of last season with the Leafs after splitting 2006-07 between the Leafs and the Marlies. His 45 games on the farm this season are the most non-NHL matches he has played in one year since breaking in with the Edmonton Oilers in 1997-98.
"It's definitely a challenge when you are back on the bus," Devereaux said. "I kind of sucked it up and worked as hard as I could."
Leafs rookie defenceman Luke Schenn faced the Penguins' dynamic pair of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin three times, including last night.
As such, the 19-year-old has used his experience against the two as a measuring stick.
"If you can play with them, you can play with anyone," Schenn said. "They both have lots of skill but Crosby is really good down low and along the boards. They both play really well on the cycle.
"Malkin is bigger, but Crosby has the low centre of gravity. He's so strong on the puck."
FLEURY VS. PRICE
The Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens have been two of the more highly touted young goalies to emerge in recent seasons. After 75 NHL games, Fleury was 19-44-8; Price was 42-22-8. The Penguins and Canadiens meet on Thursday.