Hamilton flattered by call

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

When newest Maple Leaf Jeff Hamilton learned that the Leafs had interest in him, he admits he was flattered at the opportunity of joining the Original Six team.

"It's amazing," Hamilton said yesterday. "I told my wife: 'Who would have imagined a kid from Englewood, Ohio would be playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs?'"

Indeed, the trade deadline has come and gone, but that hasn't stopped the Maple Leafs from adding reinforcements.

Hamilton, the former Carolina Hurricane, New York Islander and Chicago Blackhawk, was contacted by the Leafs Wednesday and was in the lineup last night for the game against Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center, playing on a line with Jason Blake and John Mitchell.

Hamilton was at the rink for the team's morning skate but did not practice with the Leafs because "the paperwork was still being completed."

Hamilton, 31, scored 18 goals with the Hawks in 2006-07, followed by a nine-goal performance with the Canes last season. He had racked up 16 goals and 37 assists for the Chicago Wolves when he was contacted by the Leafs.

"It's funny, but coach (Ron) Wilson actually went to the same junior high as I did," Hamilton said.

Not during the same time period, of course.

The Leafs also called up forward Ben Ondrus from the Marlies. Ondrus played on a line with Brad May and Jamal Mayers.

Going, going, gone

While Leaf players admitted they will miss the traded Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore, they certainly were not surprised that the two were moved Wednesday.

If all the speculation wasn't enough of a clue, they knew Antropov and Moore were destined to be peddled when both players were made healthy scratches for Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils at the Air Canada Centre.

"We have a great dressing room here," Blake said. "All the guys get along here. You never like to see teammates moved like that, but, at the same time, that's the reality of the sport. You have to live with it."

The Leafs have finished their season series with the New York Rangers, meaning they likely will not face Antropov this season.

They do, however, meet Moore's Buffalo Sabres on March 27 at the HSBC Arena. Moore returns to the Air Canada Centre with the Sabres on April 8.


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