By Mike Harrington
TORONTO -- Ron Rolston is on the ice with the Air Canada Centre to begin his interim reign as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The entire roster is with him (as are assistants James Patrick, Kevyn Adams, Teppo Numminen and Jim Corsi) except for the injured Ville Leino and veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold.
Leopold, a healthy scratch in Tuesday's loss to Winnipeg that turned into Lindy Ruff's final game as coach, is watching the workout in street clothes from the stands. There is no word if he is injured, or awaiting a trade or stint on waivers. No word on Cody McCormick's waiver situation; Kevin Porter is not on the ice, as he can't officially join the team until noon.
(UPDATES: McCormick has cleared waivers and been loaned to Rochester. Porter will play tonight. Leopold is out with an upper-body injury)
The Sabres have already announced that Rolston will do a conference-style meeting with reporters after their workout in the Leafs' media room, rather than the traditional by-the-wall-in-the-hall the visitors normally do here.
The ACC is teeming with media this morning. Obviously, Toronto is a huge market anyway but big names from outlets such as CBC and ESPN.com are also in the house to chronicle the Rolston debut.
I had a chance to talk to Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur, the former Sabre, after his team's pregame skate and he was shocked by the firing of Ruff.
"It was good memories there for me," MacArthur said. "He gave me a shot and that's all you can ask for. It took me by surprise. I thought for sure they would work through it with the shortened season. ... They've always done that."
Added Leafs coach Randy Carlyle on Ruff: "He's probably driving around wondering what he's going to do today."