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Toronto dressing room features high-stakes table tennis

Kessel and Phaneuf

The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle is blowing the whistle on an elaborate table tennis ring within the Maple Leafs’ den of iniquity dressing room.

There was a big ping-pong battle just outside the dressing room on Monday as part of a fairly light-hearted day at the rink. Phil Kessel and [Dion] Phaneuf are the team’s top players, with others staying out of the games for now.

“I’m not really in the ping-pong right now,” [Joffrey] Lupul said. “I’m too far behind. Cost me too much money to play with these guys.”

It might seem harmless, but high-stakes pong is some serious business. Earlier this year, Las Vegas hosted the International Classic of Ping Pong, which featured a prize pool of $100,000.

Vegas, high stakes, competitive gaming, well-compensated pro can see the slippery slope here. It won’t be long before Toronto’s room features two Pai Gow tables and a cigarette girl.