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Ron Wilson may be a sarcastic pain to his players at times but when it comes to firing off a quip the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach can be pure gold.

So it was on Wednesday when Kathryn Humphreys of City-TV came looking for a comment on Leaf winger Colby Armstrong. Ms. Humphreys was doing some sort of send-up on figure skating, which is why she was dressed in some chiffon number usually worn only by one of the kiss-and-cry set.

Earlier, Ms. Humphreys interviewed a couple of players about figure skating, including Armstrong. Apparently, his mother teaches figure skating and young Colby had to don the toe-picks, at least for a time, when he was a youngster. But this did not stop him from growing up to be one of the more rambunctious players in the NHL.

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"Did you know Colby Armstrong was a figure skater?" Ms. Humphreys said.

"He plays like one," Wilson said quickly as the media scrum broke out laughing.

One of the reporters shook his head and said, "wait 'til the boys in the room hear this."

We can't claim to know Armstrong well but we've seen enough of what appears to be a healthy sense of humour to be sure he would have a good laugh, too.

Just before figure skating came up in the scrum, Wilson had spent a couple of minutes talking about trash talking in response to a question from your agent (more on that later in my column). After he made her feature with his one-liner, Wilson told Humphreys he was sure he would cause no end of grief for Armstrong in Thursday's game against the New York Rangers.

"The Rangers are going to come to town tonight, watch City and then be all over Colby in the game," he said.

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About the Author
Hockey columnist

A native of Wainfleet, Ont., David Shoalts joined The Globe in 1984 after working at the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun and Toronto Sun. He graduated in 1978 from Conestoga College and also attended the University of Waterloo. More

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