Fergy's ready to start the dance
Moginly and Leetch on the back-burner?
By LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun
John Ferguson continues a curious long-distance dance with two
potential impact players on the Maple Leafs -- unrestricted free
agents Alex Mogilny and Brian Leetch.
They've been obscured by the daily saga of whether Tie Domi, Gary
Roberts and Joe Nieuwendyk will be back. Mogilny's agent, J.P. Barry,
has given the media glowing reports of the winger's recovery from hip
surgery, saying he skates daily in Khabarovsk, Russia, his remote
home near the Sea of Japan.
"He hopes to return to the NHL," Barry said last week, without
mentioning when and with whom.
But Ferguson, already in a multi-million dollar dispute with Barry
about Owen Nolan's knee problems, directed the question on Mogilny's
return back to the agent.
Leetch also will be available to the highest bidding National Hockey
League team at noon today. Though he wants to play for a team near
his Connecticut home after a surprise trade to the Leafs in 2004, he
is upset with New York Rangers manager Glen Sather and might not fit
with the plans of the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils or
That has led to recent communication with Ferguson. The latter is
looking for younger, cheaper defencemen than the 37-year-old Leetch,
but there might be a match later this summer if there's still cap
room here and neither man has got his desired result.
Discussions also are continuing on a new contract with 2002 first-
rounder Alexander Steen. Toronto remains in contact with Alexei
Ponikarovsky, a restricted Group 2 free agent who didn't have to be