TORONTO - As relieved as he was to remain a Leaf after the trade deadline, Monday was far from an easy day for forward Clarke MacArthur.
It got so unnerving that the team’s leading scorer went to a movie to get away from the speculation.
“I watched (the trade deadline programming) in the morning and couldn’t take any more so I found a movie and went and watched that,” MacArthur said. “That was almost worse because I was getting text messages from everybody saying I was going to Nashville.”
Teammate Joffrey Lupul had a different predicament that ended up in laughs all around. As part of a Twitter prank, it was reported by several news outlets that he was being shipped to the New York Islanders.
“It was pretty funny,” Lupul said. “(Leafs general manager Brian Burke) actually texted me and said: ‘Hey, it’s just some people trying to play a joke on you. Don’t worry.’ ”
CHARITY STARTS AT HOME
Leafs forward Phil Kessel has chosen a charity for part of the $20,000 he was awarded from the NHL Foundation and NHLPA Goal and Dreams Fund after being selected last at the all-star draft.
And Kessel is keeping some of the money close to home, earmarking $5,000 of it to the Brendan Burke Internship established in memory of the late son of the Leafs general manager. Brendan Burke, who worked for the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team, died in a car accident 13 months ago.
Kessel, meanwhile, is also charitable in deflecting credit for his recent hot streak, which included eight points in four games to earn him first star of the week in the NHL.
“Obviously (linemates Lupul and Tyler Bozak) have made it easy for me,” Kessel said on Tuesday. “They are playing great and we are getting chances.”
With Jonas Gustavsson recalled from the Marlies on Tuesday after his conditioning stint, the Leafs had three goalies on the ice for practice. While James Reimer will get the start Wednesday against the Penguins, Jean-Sebastien Giguere will be the other one dressed.
“If you need someone to go in, experience usually trumps,” Wilson said. “(Giguere) will be backing up (Wednesday) and we’ll go from there.”
Gustavsson, meanwhile, is just hoping he will get another chance after his recent heart ablation surgery and conditioning stint with the Marlies.
“We’ll see. Right now it’s all about practice hard and try to be the best goalie in practice every day basically to show that you want to play,” Gustavsson said. “(Remier and Giguere) are playing great, so it’s a tough competition for me, but I’m up for it.”
The Leafs begin another stretch of three games in four nights that starts with a home date against the Penguins followed by consecutive starts against the Stanley Cup finalists last spring — at Philadelphia on Thursday and at home to Chicago on Saturday ... The middle of those features a scheduling quirk that won’t sit well with Leafs management. The Flyers will have been off since Saturday and not only will the Leafs have played two games since, they will have to face the Eastern Conference leaders on the second night of back-to-backs ... Joe Colborne, who came to the Leafs in the deal that sent Tomas Kaberle to the Bruins, continues his hot play with the Marlies. The centre scored the Marlies’ lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday and has four goals in six games with the AHL club.