Practice brings back ‘good memories’ for Brent;Leafs hold open skate before Marlies game

It was the announcer at Ricoh Coliseum, home of the Toronto

Marlies, who made the startling statement:

“Welcome back, Tim Brent!” he told the few hundred fans who

spent Sunday morning at a Leafs open practice before the Marlies’

afternoon game.

No, Brent hadn’t been returned to the AHL club; the ex-Marlie

was just getting the star treatment.

“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of good memories here,” said Brent.

“I enjoyed my time with the Marlies. I’m definitely a better hockey

player from playing here.

“But,” he added, pointing to the


Leafs crest on his red practise

jersey, “it’s always nice to put this jersey on.”

Leafs coach Ron Wilson is impressed with Francois Beauchemin’s

steady play on the blue line.

“He’s keeping the game simple, not trying to do too much,” said

Wilson. “He hasn’t been caught up the ice as much. Last year, he

was trying to do too much and pressed when we weren’t playing well.

Now he’s letting the game come to him. He played better last year

when we picked up Dion Phaneuf. Both players are compatible.”

Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been fined by the NHL for

trying to head-butt Travis Zajac of the Devils on Wednesday,

reports. In front of the New Jersey bench, Kaleta leaned and tried

to make contact using his head, but missed. Zajac gave him a shove

and drew a roughing minor.

The Calgary Flames have moved ex-Leaf Matt Stajan on to their

top line with Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay.

The Leafs will hold a news conference Monday morning to promote

their participation in the annual CHL Prospects Game. Toronto

hosted the first three events beginning in 1996 at


Leaf Gardens.

“Another great hockey event for Toronto,” said Tom Anselmi,

executive vice-president of


Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “This

is another nice step and builds Toronto’s profile as a great hockey


The two-day event features talent from the Western, Ontario and

Quebec junior leagues. The skills competition and three-on-three

challenge will be on Jan. 18, the day before the game.

Thomas Nesbitt scored twice and added an assist as the Ottawa

67’s defeated the Battalion 5-1 in OHL action in Brampton. Petr

Mrazek made 41 saves for Ottawa, 18 in the first period to set the


Brett Thompson had two goals and two assists, including the

overtime winner, as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds beat the Storm

6-5 in Guelph. Vern Cooper scored and added three assists for the

Greyhounds (4-6-1). Michael Latta had a hat trick for Guelph


Ivan Telegin scored twice as the Saginaw Spirit netted four

unanswered goals to beat the Generals 5-2 in Oshawa. Saginaw’s

Anthony Camara scored 16 seconds into the game, which was rough

from the start. Saginaw’s Michael Kantor and Oshawa’s Jeff Brown

fought three seconds in.

Kevin McGran, Star wires