Agent's presence fuels trade talk

STEVE BUFFERY AND ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

Wade Arnott represents plenty of NHL players but his presence at the opening on-ice sessions of Maple Leafs training camp certainly raised some eyebrows.

Arnott, who is based in the GTA, represents Boston's unrestricted free agent, Phil Kessel, a player Leafs general manager Brian Burke has openly admitted he'd like to acquire.

While trade talks with the Bruins reportedly are heating up, the fact that Arnott spent time at the Leafs' new practice facility talking with Burke's right-hand man, Dave Nonis, certainly adds to the intrigue.

There are a handful of teams interested in acquiring Kessel, though it is believed he favours the Leafs.

As a restricted free agent, the Leafs could make an offer to the young forward but any such deal could be matched by the Bruins.

Bozak impresses

Rookie forward Tyler Bozak, a free-agent signing from the University of Denver late last season, continues to impress the Leafs brass, as he did at the rookie tournament last week in Kitchener.

"He is going to challenge somebody for a job for sure," said head coach Ron Wilson. "He'll get a lot of play in exhibition games. You can't predict anything, but of all the young people I've seen so far, he's probably been the most impressive."

Van Ryn held back

Veteran defenceman Mike Van Ryn practised yesterday but didn't take part in a scrimmage.

Maple Leafs management wants to him to ease back into play after the London, Ont., native missed 55 games as a result of suffering four serious injuries during the 2008-09 season, including two concussions and a knee injury in March, which ended his season.

Healthy, happy

Goaltender Vesa Toskala is confident the groin and hip surgery's he had late this past season will pay immediate dividends.

"I feel good that I don't have to think about the groin or the hip," Toskala said. "Now I can just go out and play hockey."


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