Leafs relying on Kessel

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

MARKHAM - It's one thing to be bubbling over with toughness, but who is going to put the puck in the net?

As it was when last season ended, that's the most glaring question facing the Maple Leafs as they prepare for the official start of training camp next week.

General manager Brian Burke isn't going to deny that a team that finished tied for 25th in offence and 30th on the power play is at the least facing uncertainty in that area.

"People say you don't have enough offence ... I don't know if we do or not yet," Burke said on Tuesday prior to the team's annual charity golf tournament at Angus Glen Golf Club. "We'll have to see.

"But it's certainly a legitimate point. Can (Mikhail Grabovski) bounce back? What can Tyler Bozak do the whole season? We'll see."

The Leafs certainly will be hoping forward Phil Kessel can build on his first season with the Leafs last year, one in which he scored 30 goals despite missing the first month recovering from injury and slowed for much of the last month due to a another injury.

Coach Ron Wilson said Kessel "has worked out really hard this summer and is in great shape," which could certainly accelerate the process.

As for adding a complementary sniper to Kessel, don't go holding your breath. While always on the lookout for an upgrade, Burke admitted it isn't likely to happen before the season starts.

"We're going with this unless something miraculous happens," Burke said. "This is the group. We're going with this."


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