Leafs happy with group

LANCE HORNBY and MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

General manager John Ferguson did not deliver Pat Quinn a new 50-goal scorer or a Norris Trophy defenceman on trade deadline day, but the coach was simply grateful that a sense of normalcy can now return to the Leafs.

"There was probably less (trade) action than in previous years, but it still has a tenseness to it," Quinn said last night as the Leafs arrived at their Long Island hotel, still intact from morning practice. "The players like to see the deadline gone. It gets the hackles up, especially in Toronto. There must have been 200 names bandied about for cryin' out loud.

"We really had just one change (Luke Richardson for Ken Klee). I still believe we have a good team and our intention is to make the playoffs."

Bryan McCabe, a soon-to-be unrestricted free-agent defenceman, insisted no Leaf was adversely affected by trade speculation.

"We haven't debated anything; it's you guys lurking like vultures for the past week," he said. "We're fine, we're happy with the group we've got and we've said that all year. Now we have to do it on the ice."

McCabe was glad to have the trade question off the table, giving him at least five weeks of playing time to dodge questions about his future as a Leaf. He repeated that a long-term contract here is his preference, pending post-season negotiations.

"We've got the whole summer to do it and I don't foresee it being a big problem," McCabe said. "There's no pressing issue now. If (both sides) want to talk, they can talk, but I'm out of it now. Playoffs are the biggest issue now."

Ferguson said the Leafs made more calls than they received leading up to the trade deadline.

SETBACK FOR COLAIACOVO

Aside from having forwards Nik Antropov (shoulder) and Darcy Tucker (knee) banged up, the Leafs got some more discouraging news on the injury front.

Defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo has been told to stop the light workouts he had recently taken up. Colaiacovo suffered a concussion in a game against the Ottawa Senators back in January and has not played since.

"His return does not seem imminent,"Ferguson said.


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