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Canucks sign Sundin @NHLdotcom

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent center Mats Sundin on Thursday.

"I am truly excited to be joining the Canucks," Sundin said. "Once I made the decision to return to play a few weeks ago, the Vancouver opportunity was simply the best overall fit. I want to thank (general manager) Mike Gillis and the entire Canucks organization for their professionalism throughout this entire process."

The 37-year-old Sundin has 555 goals and 766 assists in 17 seasons with the Quebec Nordiques and Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 6-foot-5, 230 pound, center became an unrestricted free agent at the end of last season and was being courted by a half dozen teams. In the past week, it had come down to the Canucks and the New York Rangers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Canucks had offered Sundin a two-year, $20 million deal but Sundin had repeatedly stated that he was only looking for a one-year contract.

"We are very excited to have Mats join the Vancouver Canucks," Gillis said. "Playing previously in two Canadian markets and consistently being among team and league leaders in scoring, Mats has proven that he can excel under pressure.

"He adds a wealth of experience, leadership and skill to the Canucks."

Sundin was selected first overall in the 1989 draft by the Quebec Nordiques, becoming the first European hockey player to be drafted first overall.

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