The Toronto Maple Leafs have granted a tryout to veteran forward Jason Allison.
The 34-year-old will attend the Leafs training camp without a contract next month, even though he hasn't played in the NHL since his 2005-06 season. That season with the Leafs was cut to 66 games after he suffered a hand injury.
After his three-year hiatus from the game, Allison approached the Leafs about a comeback this summer. The Leafs' brass felt that Allison deserved a chance to strut his stuff.
Maligned by Toronto fans for his lack of speed and perceived laziness, Allison managed 17 goals and 60 points with the Leafs in 2005-06, his only season since 2002-03 due to injuries, the NHL lockout and a divorce.
No promises have been made by the Leafs, but if Allison can demonstrate a new-found passion for the game, and that he hasn't lost his offensive flair, the young Toronto club could use his scoring touch.
In 552 career NHL games, Allison has scored 154 goals and 485 points.
Allison did not return phone calls yesterday, but two years ago revealed in an interview with The Canadian Press his desire to return to the NHL.
"I'm physically and mentally as healthy as I've been in five years," Allison said. "I'm excited and ready to go.
"I had a lot of personal stuff to deal with last year - just getting my life re-organized and dealing with family issues. It's been a good year for me, even though I didn't play hockey and people were wondering where I was or what I was doing … It was important for me to just get feeling good about life."Report Typo/Error