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Leafs notebook: Roberts injured? Contract talks continue

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Gary Roberts will have shoulder surgeries.

Graig Abel Photography
by John McCauley

The injury woes of the Toronto Maple Leafs seem to be continuing even though the season's been over for a month.

Gary Roberts has been told by doctors that he should undergo operations on both of his shoulders, procedures that would keep him out of the lineup until at least next December.

Roberts has tendon impingements in the acromioclavicular joint in each shoulder. Known as the AC joint, it's the area where the shoulder blade meets the collarbone.

Team surgeon Dr. Darrell Ogilvie-Harris is expected to perform the operations on Roberts in Toronto, with one tentatively scheduled for mid-July and the other for early August.

Dr. Michael Clarfield, the Leafs' physician, told the Toronto Star the problem started in both shoulders during the playoffs and that surgery is necessary for Roberts to extend his career.

The injury is not related to the neck problems that forced Roberts out of the game for the 1996-97 season.

Roberts will be in the final year of his three-year deal with the Leafs.

Contract front

Curtis Joseph and the Leafs are still trying to workout a deal before he becomes and unrestricted free agent on July 1. Assistant to the President Bill Watters and Joseph's agent Don Meehan are expected to try settle the issue on the weekend.

In addition to Joseph, Tie Domi becomes an unrestricted free agent and is looking for a deal. Talks have been ongoing and should continue throughout the weekend as well. Corey Schwab and Cory Cross are still working towards re-signing but it is proving difficult.

The Leafs also have reportedly given qualifying offers to all five of their restricted free agents. Dmitry Yushkevich, Alyn McCauley, Aki Berg, Wade Belak and Jonas Hoglund.

The players may choose to accept the one-year qualifier or go to salary arbitration. Another possibility is the two parties settling before the arbitration hearing, which can often be a messy affair. Players have until July 31 to accept their qualifying offers and until July 15 to file for salary arbitration.
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