Baby Buds Report

By Kevin Kelly

The St. John’s Maple Leafs will have some more faces
in their lineup as Toronto made it’s final cuts over
the weekend.

Joining St. John’s will be defenceman Anders Eriksson,
who played well when here in St. John’s last season.
Also sent to the Rock were forwards Aaron Gavey, Paul
Healey, Josh Holden and Alexei Ponikarovsky along with
goalie Mikael Tellqvist, who had a very strong camp
according to many Toronto reporters.

With the addition of Tellqvist and his improved play,
the Leafs should have a very strong goaltending
contingent this season. Sebastien Centomo hopes to
keep up his 2001-02 heroics, while Jamie Hodson is
also in the battle for now. Hodson is suffering from
an undisclosed injury but may be back for the season
opener against Wilkes-Barre. The question is whether
Hodson will play a regular season game for the Leafs
this season. There are no shortage of goalies around
that could play for the Baby Leafs this year.

One of those goalies who could be playing but isn’t is
Mike Minard. Minard, the former Leafs MVP two years
ago, who was somewhat surprisingly sent to Memphis,
has refused to report there, and he told local papers
that he wasn’t given a chance to prove himself in
Toronto’s camp. He is trying to be loaned to another
AHL team if at all possible. Minard says he has proven
that he can play well in the AHL and wants to get back
with the Leafs, but that seems unlikely. Let’s hope
something can be worked out to see Minard back in the
AHL somehow. His Mini’s Munchkins program benefitting
sick kids will be taken over by Morgan Warren. The
goaltending situation is an interesting one, so we’ll
keep you posted.

As for the new additions, Paul Healey and Ponikarovsky
will look to continue to play well and give some
guidance to a much younger Leafs squad. Highly touted
prospect Brad Boyes, and WHL Scoring champ Nathan
Barrett will also benefit the offence, but it will be
interesting to see how they adjust to the AHL game.
Aaron Gavey and Josh Holden will bring experience to
the table and despite his big contract and problems
with Toronto, Anders Eriksson will be a great benefit
to the St. John’s club. He will be the most
experienced defenceman out there and will help young
guys like Allan Rourke, Petr Svoboda and Chris
Chartier who will be asked to become the leaders on
the defensive corps.

The Leafs first game will be October 10th on the road
against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and will
have games against Albany, the Penguins (again) and
the Bridgeport Sound Tigers before their first home
game October 22nd against Manitoba.


Leafs notes:

Highly touted prospect Brad Boyes was named in the
local paper, The Telegram, as “being the biggest
prospect in a St. John’s uniform since Felix Potvin”.
Leaf Fans hope he will make a significant impression
this season.

If you love the Leafs and live in Canada’s Capital
Ottawa, Valentine’s Day will be special for you as the
Leafs will battle the Binghamton Senators at the Corel
Centre February 15th, 2003.

All the Leafs action will be as near as your computer
as 930 AM Radio Newfoundland will carry the Leafs
broadcasts once again this season.
Check out the Leafs at
http://www.radionewfoundland.net

The Leafs held a special celebration luncheon for
Special Olympics at the St. John’s Convention Centre
October 7th.