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Talk surrounds Leafs, Thrashers game

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TSN.ca Staff with files from The Sports Network
2/23/2008 12:39:18 PM
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Two of the bigger names mentioned in pre-trade deadline speculation are set to face off tonight at the Air Canada Centre as Marian Hossa and the Atlanta Thrashers clash with Mats Sundin and Toronto the Maple Leafs.

The Leafs captain, along with defenceman Bryan McCabe, have been battling a bad case of the flu. Despite the illness, Sundin arrived at the rink on Saturday morning looking ready to play but did not take the morning skate.

He did, though, speak to the media and admitted that interim general manager Cliff Fletcher asked him to waive his no-trade clause.

On Friday, Darren Dreger reported that Fletcher and Sundin met a day earlier to discuss the captain's future with the team and it was believed Fletcher asked Sundin for a list of teams he would consider playing for.

Click here for - Dreger: Leafs ask Sundin for list of teams.

The Maple Leaf captain is enjoying a strong season. He leads the Maple Leafs in goals (24), assists (37), points (61) and plus-minus (plus-7).

McCabe was absent from today's morning skate while netminder Andrew Raycroft returned to the ice after missing last two days with the flu.

Toronto will wrap a five-game homestand tonight and fell to 2-2-0 on the home stand with Thursday's 5-1 pounding at the hands of Buffalo. Pavel Kubina had the only goal, while Tomas Kaberle and Vesa Toskala had assists.

Toskala also made 18 saves in net.

Toronto is 15-12-5 at home this year and will begin a four-game road trip on Monday against Ottawa.

Atlanta and Toronto wrap their season series tonight. The Maple Leafs have won two of three against the Thrashers this year and 10 of their last 14 against Atlanta overall. Toronto has lost its last two at the Air Canada Centre against Atlanta.

For the Thrashers, Hossa is having another solid season with 26 goals, 29 assists over his 59 games. The Thrashers had hoped to sign the 29-year-old to an extension but no progress was made as of Friday. It is believed the team will focus on moving him before the deadline.

Click here for - Thrashers now expected to shop Hossa.

Atlanta fell to 1-2-0 on its current five-game road trip with Thursday's 5-3 setback to the Hurricanes. Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist and Kari Lehtonen made 41 saves for the Thrashers, who have dropped two straight.

Eric Perrin and Todd White also scored, while Ilya Kovalchuk and Hossa both had two assists each.

Atlanta has lost five of its last seven on the road to fall to 13-15-2 as the visiting club this year. The Thrashers conclude their trip on Tuesday in Montreal.

Both teams have had their struggles this season. Atlanta sits in 12th in the Eastern conference and Toronto is in 14th.

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