September 9, 2011
Schenn remains unsigned
By LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - With less than a week until the opening of the main Maple Leaf camp, it's a possibility unsigned restricted free agent Luke Schenn won't be there.
Asked about the chance that Schenn stays home, agent Don Meehan e-mailed the Toronto Sun on Friday that another meeting is set with the Leafs for early next week.
Toronto general manager Brian Burke has tried to play down the lack of progress in talks, assuring a deal will be done eventually with the club's most reliable blueliner and the NHL leader in hits among defencemen last season.
While refusing to talk specifics about term and salary with the media earlier in the week, Burke did say how deep he believed the Leafs were on defence with the additions of Cody Franson and John-Michael Liles and the development of other players. He did not include Schenn on the list and called the rest "a pretty good group".
Meehan is also trying to get a new deal for L.A. King blueliner Drew Doughty, also an RFA.
Wendel still mothballed
More than a decade after former captain Wendel Clark retired, the Leafs have not seen fit to let anyone wear his No. 17. It's not likely to be claimed at this year's training camp, either.
Clark, who has had the number 'honoured' by the club with a banner at the ACC, said he did not specifically ask it be taken out of circulation, but abides by whatever the team wants.
"That was just done," Clark said this week. "It's not up to me, I was just a player, honoured to play here and those decisions are out of my realm.
"I never grew up thinking about numbers. That was just the one given to me when I got here."
If new Leafs have asked for 17 or other honoured numbers such as 1, 7, 9 and 27, it's usually the club's equiment men who decide.
Left winger Jerry D'Amigo, who split last season with the Marlies and the OHL Kitchener Rangers, will not be attending the Leafs' rookie tournament in Oshawa as planned.
"Jerry's back has been acting up," coach Dallas Eakins said Friday. "It's not a major thing. We just thought he's had his feet wet (at similar camps) and we know where he's at.
"We'd like him to be in the tournament, but we're not going to push him into this and aggravate it. We want to see what he has in the main camp, really."
The Leafs will not replace him on the roster when they play Chicago, Pittsburgh and Ottawa in the next four days. But forward Will Acton, son of the former assistant coach and a late-season addition to the Marlies, was at practice on Friday.
"Will did us a favour and I've asked him to keep his cell phone handy in case we get in trouble with numbers," Eakins said.
The Leafs are close to replacing two of their top broadcasters who have moved on to greener pastures.
Sources say Dan Dunleavy is the leading candidate for Dennis Beyak's job as the radio voice of the Leafs for games when No. 1 Joe Bowen does television. The Toronto-born Dunleavy has worked the world junior hockey championships and Toronto FC games for the Fan radio network. Beyak will be working TSN games for the Winnipeg Jets this year.
The Marlies have hired Aylmer, Ont., native Jon Abbott as their new TV/radio man. Abbott previously did play-by-play with the Ottawa 67s. He replaces John Bartlett, who has gone to the Montreal Canadiens' radio station.
Sondre Olden: It was like our 9/11
Sondre Olden and his parents had just sat down to lunch in their downtown Oslo home on July 22 when they heard a loud rumble.
"We didn't think it was a bomb," the Maple Leafs' prospect said Friday. "First, we thought it was lightning. Then we thought it was some kind of accident.
"Then we saw the pictures on TV and knew it was very serious."
The Oldens lived a 10-minute walk from the downtown crossing where 32-year-old extremist Anders Behring Breivik had detonated an explosive device that killed eight citizens. He then went on a shooting rampage at a youth camp on a nearby island. leaving 69 dead, half of them under the age of 18.
"It was like our 9/11," the 19-year-old Olden said. "A terrible thing. It was impossible to go downtown and see what happened because the police were telling everyone to stay at home. It was in the news all that day. It was a big shock because this just doesn't happen in Norway. You're not used to seeing guns and someone shooting."
Olden and many of his friends attended the massive memorial service in Oslo three days later.
"There were about 500,000 in the city. Everyone who was in Oslo that day had roses with them, which was a nice (gesture). Everyone stuck together and had a great ceremony. I'm glad (no one he knew was harmed), but all my thoughts go to the people who lost somebody."
Olden is attending his second Leafs' rookie camp this weekend, knowing he has the security of a place with the Erie Otters of the OHL when the Leafs wrap up the four-team tournament on Tuesday. Olden is still slight for a 6-foot-4 forward (176 pounds) but looks bigger than last season.
"I've been looking forward to this camp," said Olden