September 21, 2010
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
A lawsuit against Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski was filed last week by Langley, B.C., residents Dylan and Brenna Richardson involving a incident in downtown Vancouver during the Winter Olympics.
According to the Sept. 14 civil claim filed in a New Westminster court, Grabovski "intentionally assaulted" Dylan, knocking him unconscious before punching wife Brenna in the face.
Dylan, 26, who was wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey at the time, missed five months of work after suffering a concussion and needed constructive facial surgery, according to his lawyer Paul Roxburgh.
The damages being sought were not disclosed.
CHRISTIAN THE LION
Christian Hanson had to wait part of the summer to make sure he had another shot with the Leafs, so he's determined to make the best of it.
The 24-year-old Notre Dame grad struggled at times in his rookie season but was signed late in the summer and looks to be locked in a battle for the fourth centre spot with John Mitchell.
"You can never feel comfortaable, there are so many guys here who are NHLcalibre players," Hanson said on Monday. "I'm just trying to build on it each day."
Though he has spent some time on the wing in his brief Leafs career, Hanson acknowledged he's more comfortable up the middle.
"I feel pretty good at centre -- I always played it growing up," Hanson said. "They told me they see a spot I can compete for but I just have to come in, work hard and make sure I don't take any days off."
After finally being cleared for contact, strapping defenceman Keith Aulie was thrilled at the chance to become a proper hockey player again on Monday.
"It felt really good -- I didn't notice it at all," said Aulie, who has recovered from off-season shoulder surgery after being injured in one of his first few games playing for the Marlies. "It's just a matter of getting used to the game. It's almost like you have to learn it again."
Aullie said he wasn't worried about aggravating the injury once he started banging.
"I've done so much work at this point, I kind of knew when I stepped on the ice I'd be ready to go," Aullie said. "Six and a half months is a long time away. It's nice to get back on the ice and sweating with the guys -- especially under full contact."
YOU GOTTA FIGHT
Leafs coach Ron Wilson isn't bothered by the physical play so far during camp. In fact, he figures it will come in handy the next four nights with two games against the division-rival Ottawa Senators and two more against the Philadelphia Flyers.
"It's just an indication of intensity," Wilson said. "It's good that we're preparing in the right way, that it is physical out there. Nobody's going to be surprised in the next exhibition game."
What's the perfect number of preseason games to get ready for the real action?
Ultimately Wilson will decide the perfect number for individual players but most are anxious for some action.
"Scrimmages are good to knock off some rust, but you want to get to those game situations with other teams," Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek said.
"Five or six games seems like a good number, but it's up to the coach. No one is going to remember these games. Last year we had a great pre-season and stared off terrible."
The Senators are in town for back-to-back games beginning Tuesday but don't expect many big names coming from Ottawa. Among those not making the trip are Pascal Leclaire, Chris Phillips, Sergei Gonchar, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher and Milan Michalek ... The game Tuesday is the annual Fans First contest. Plenty of pre-game festivities will be taking place outside the Air Canada Centre.