|Toronto Maple Leafs' Mike Komisarek talks with media during training camp. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI AGENCY)
TORONTO - By the fuss surrounding Mike Komisarek after Monday’s latest blue and white scrimmage scrap, you would think it was the first time teammates had dropped the gloves in anger.
In reality, all it meant is the Maple Leafs are ready to start belting someone else. It was almost comical that Komisarek and combatant Jay Rosehill were the hot topic for the skirmish that saw a couple of punches thrown before teammate Francois Beauchemin came in to maintain some order.
Komisarek got a little wound up after Rosehill broke his stick. The two exchanged words and then a couple of punches and it was back to business.
“Coming off the summer, guys are just sick if playing shinny hockey,” Komisarek said. “I flipped a little bit, but it’s part of the game.
“We’re not going to wait to the end of training camp to start hitting.”
No one around the Leafs seemed worried about the feistiness. In fact if there wasn’t any, that would be a bigger cause for concern.
Around the rink
Whether it’s Nazem Kadri or Mikhail Grabovski or someone else, whichever Leaf gets Kris Versteeg as their winger will be off to a good start. Versteeg stood out in Monday’s scrimmage, showing a playmaker’s touch that will make him a valuable second-line addition. Versteeg said afterward that he loves the physical makeup of his new team ... It will matter much more when the pre-season games begin — and you can expect Kadri will get plenty of action in them — but the rookie has yet to stand out in his two scrimmages with the big club. He hasn’t done much wrong and seems more committed to his defensive play, but we haven’t seen the offensive flash of a year ago ... One player that made a mark on Monday was Christian Hanson, looking solid in his natural centre position. Hanson scored a goal in the intra-squad tilt but his physical presence in the corners was most noticeable ... Versteeg on Hanson: “He’s a big, strong kid. He should be — his father is a freakin’ Hanson brother.” ... No surprise that John Mitchell matched Hanson’s intensity on Monday. The two appear to be locked in a battle for a job at centre, likely on the fourth line at this point ... Coach Ron Wilson stays away from the bench during scrimmages and joins Leafs management watching the game from outside team offices above the rink ... Team leader in truculence this early in camp is clearly is Rosehill who has now had a scrap in each of his two scrimmages. On Saturday, he took on rookie Mike Liambas ... Wilson and his staff have a good portion of each practice and meeting time teaching the team’s system. Power play and penalty kill will be held back until next week, however, when there are less bodies to worry about ... Through his two scrimmages, Beauchemin has played like the steady defenceman the Leafs need him to be. Beauchemin and captain Dion Phaneuf seem to have solid chemistry together ... Finnish goaltender Jussi Rynnas looked strong again Monday, a carry over form his play at the rookie tournament last week in London. Rynnas is likely in a battle for a spot with the Marlies ... The undercard of the Rosehill-Komisarek tussle saw Luca Caputi and Mike Brennan scrap to a draw. That’s three fights in camp so far ... Wilson wasn’t ready to shed some light on who will play in Tuesday’s pre-season opener: “I have a plan but I’m not going to divulge the plan,” Wilson said ... Liambas is one of a couple dozen players who have no shot at making the opening roster. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t being taught. Leafs skating coach Graeme Townshend spent time working with Liambas, who was invited to camp on a tryout basis, following Monday’s practice ... Speaking of Townshend, defenceman Luke Schenn tells me summer lessons with the coach have paid off in camp ... Another forward quietly impressing Leafs management: Clarke MacArthur ... Big day for defenceman Keith Aulie, who saw his first contact action since injuring his shoulder in February. At 6-foot-5, 217 pounds, the big D-man could be the sleeper bonus in the Phaneuf deal.