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Centre of attention for Tim Brent

Tim Brent spent part of his media scrum yesterday detailing some of his personal likes and pastimes.<br />

Tim Brent spent part of his media scrum yesterday detailing some of his personal likes and pastimes.

Stuff like hunting and fishing are high on his list of favourite things to do. Those details went missing in team media guides from the four NHL teams he has played for because he has never made a season-opening roster.

Brent’s anonymity, though, appears to be on thin ice. The 26-year-old from Cambridge has come from under the radar to the verge of cracking the Leafs opening lineup.

“I grew up a die-hard Leafs fan, so if this happens, it would be a dream come true,” said Brent, who has undeniably had a better pre-season than several other players who were ahead of him on the depth chart when camp opened earlier this month.

Brent now appears entrenched as the club’s third-line centre and it will take a huge effort from the likes of John Mitchell and Nazem Kadri over the final three games of the pre-season to uproot him.

In yesterday’s practice, Kadri and Mitchell were handed burgundy jerseys — the colour belonging to five remaining fringe players who have either done little to impress management, or are fighting tough battles against players ahead of them on the depth chart.

Kadri and Mitchell have a last chance to impress tonight in Ottawa. Jay Rosehill, Luca Caputi, and Mike Zigomanis also wore burgundy yesterday, but they’re more victims of the numbers game than drastically underperforming.

Caputi had been pencilled in on the third line, but the return of Fredrik Sjostrom from shoulder rehab yesterday bumped Caputi to the burgundy brigade.

 
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