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Toronto Maple Leafs Jay Rosehill, right, and Detroit Red Wings Brad May fight during the second period of their NHL preseason hockey game in Detroit, Michigan, September 25, 2009. (REBECCA COOK)
Toronto Maple Leafs Jay Rosehill, right, and Detroit Red Wings Brad May fight during the second period of their NHL preseason hockey game in Detroit, Michigan, September 25, 2009. (REBECCA COOK)

Leafs waive two players as trade deadline looms Add to ...

Jay Rosehill, we hardly knew ye.

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Rosehill and Darryl Boyce on waivers on Friday afternoon to clear two roster spots, paving the way for at least one young player to be called up from the Toronto Marlies.

The leading candidate there is rookie Matt Frattin, who has nine goals in his last 12 games in the minors.

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Rosehill has been up with the Leafs ever since training camp, but has played in just 16 of 61 games and averaged 5:52 ice time a game.

His demotion, in other words, has been a long time coming.

Boyce, meanwhile, has bounced between the two teams, playing only 17 games in the NHL this season.

"We wanted to clean up some space," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said after practice. "We're going to promote a guy when we're allowed to once those other guys have cleared waivers. We're going to bring somebody in to maybe provide a spark.

"We've been thinking about a call-up for a couple of days now... Who we're calling up will be a mystery until noon tomorrow."

What does this all mean on the trade front? Probably not a whole lot, other than that, even with Frattin (or someone else) recalled, there'll be an open hole on the 23-man roster to add another body.

It also frees up a little more cap space, with the $140,000 left on Rosehill's contract presumably off the books the rest of the season. (Although Frattin has some entry level bonuses that take his deal up to $1.3-million, which will eat up any extra.)

Teams are only allowed four call-ups after the trade deadline, too, so this weekend is a good time to bring up whatever players the Leafs want on hand for their final 21 games and the playoff drive.

All the deadline talk in the Leafs dressing room, meanwhile, is getting a little silly, with defenceman Luke Schenn still being asked six different ways how he feels about all the trade rumours floating around.

(Schenn, by the way, remains one of the more likely Leafs to be moved in the next few days.)

What is of note is that GM Brian Burke may meet with the media during Saturday's game, which should provide everyone with a little bit better idea of what he's hoping to add by 3 p.m. on Monday. (Burke's interview with TSN Radio earlier in the week is worth a listen, too.)

The players? They don't have much to add other than they realize they've got to start winning some games or changes will be made.

"When there's tough times, questions are asked," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "But when you're going well, they don't seem to be asked about our group. We like the group that we have, we're confident in it and we believe in it."

"I have no idea what's going on," added teammate Joey Crabb. "But all the guys in here just have to keep doing their job and stay focused."

Notebook

- Matt Lombardi and Joffrey Lupul missed practice on Friday, with Lombardi nursing an illness of some sort and Lupul still playing through a sore ankle. Lupul will play Saturday against Washington, but Lombardi's status is more in doubt. "I'm not sure about Lombo," Wilson said.

- James Reimer will get the start again in that game. Barring a huge meltdown, I imagine we'll see him play most games the rest of the way.

- Colby Armstrong is expected to get back into the lineup against the Caps after sitting as a healthy scratch regularly of late. "It's been tough this year," he said. "I want to get things going, help out as much as I can... I don't know what I can do, I just try to move forward. Every day is a new day so I try to block out what's happened to me in the past this year."

Projected lineup

Lupul - Bozak - Kessel MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin Crabb - Connolly - Frattin Brown - Steckel - Armstrong

Gunnarsson - Phaneuf Gardiner - Schenn Liles - Franson

Reimer

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