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  • Tuesday, February 8, 2000

    Leafs Watch

    By LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

      ALL-STAR DUST: Mayor Mel Lastman predicted the NHL all-star week festivities in Toronto would generate close to $30 million. The National Hockey League took most of the ticket revenues -- since the Maple Leafs technically were loaning it the Air Canada Centre -- but the NHL then treated its sponsors, licensees and club members during the week, so it ended up a break-even exercise for the league.

     NHL officials estimated yesterday that 140,000 people attended events such as FANtasy, the prospects game, skills competition, women's game and the all-star game.

     The Leafs distinguished themselves as hosts, backing up their claim that the 50th all-star game in the "centre of the hockey universe" would be the biggest in history.

     "It was great to hear (commissioner) Gary Bettman say it was one of the best all-star games of any sport he'd seen," Leafs hockey operations director Casey Vanden Heuvel said.

     In the first game of ABC's NHL contract, the overnight rating in the U.S. for the all-star game was unchanged from last year. It got a 2.6 overnight rating and 6 share,

     EX-LEAF DIES: Elwin (Moe) Morris, who played defence for the 1945 Stanley Cup-champion Leafs, died yesterday at his home in Stratford. He was 79. Morris had 13 goals and 29 assists in four seasons with the Leafs and New York Rangers. Elwin's brother, Frank Morris, was a Hall of Fame lineman with the CFL's Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos.

     MASKED INVENTIONS: G Glenn Healy, who often joked that his old-style helmet-cage mask "has been around since the War of 1812 and isn't safe for ball hockey" yesterday debuted one of the most intricate models seen in hockey.

     It's a one-piece unit, made of protective kevlar, fashioned by the same Ancaster craftsman who works with Dominik Hasek. There's a painting of Maple Leaf Gardens on one side, bagpipes on the other and an Irish-Scottish coat-of-arms on the back with its Latin phrase sub spe virtutis praemium (Beneath the valour of courage, the prize).

     Healy, who is of Scottish-Irish ancestry, found the coat-of-arms in a heraldry book and checked the inscription with the head of Latin studies at a university.
    TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS



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