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Dreger: Sources say Leafs, Marlies did not jump H1N1 queue

Darren Dreger
11/5/2009 1:31:10 PM
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The Toronto Maple Leafs may be guilty of a communication breakdown, however multiple sources insist the NHL team and its AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies did not jump the queue in making the H1N1 vaccination available to players and staff.

Maple Leafs players and a select number of staff members were given access to the shot after Tuesday's game at Air Canada Centre.

How the Maple Leafs acquired the sought-after vaccine is unclear, however sources confirm that team doctors strongly encouraged the club to vaccinate based on the belief their room may have been contaminated.

Multiple reports suspect Leafs prospect Jiri Tlusty, called up from the Marlies a week ago, to be the reason Maple Leafs doctors insisted the flu shot be made immediately available.

Although neither was officially diagnosed, Marlies forwards Tyler Bozak and Andre Deveaux were both bedridden and quarantined last week, with what the AHL club believed to be swine flu.  However, sources say neither player was tested to confirm a diagnosis.

The suspicion of swine flu was enough for Marlies doctors to vaccinate the rest of the team and traveling personnel - a process, sources say, the parent team may have been unaware of.

Tlusty's call-up and presence in Toronto's dressing room sparked concern from the Leafs medical team, based on the fear he may have been infected and a been carrier of H1N1.

Sources say the Leafs then considered the vaccination a priority to help protect the flu from spreading to families, opposing teams, and ultimately, those attending Toronto Maple Leafs games.

Darren Dreger

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