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GMs say little about Sundin

by Dan Rosen
CHICAGO — Mats Sundin is once again in the news and therefore was a topic of conversation at the GM meeting on Thursday at the Chicago Hilton O'Hare Airport.

According to reports in Canada, Sundin is on his way to Southern California, where the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain may begin training for a return to the NHL sooner rather than later.

The GMs, though, are either not aware of Sundin's plans or are simply playing coy as to not give away any information.

"I have no firsthand knowledge at all," Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher said. "I think it was pretty well assumed that Mats will eventually start training and prepare for the upcoming season for whomever he might play for, but I have no knowledge at all."

Rangers GM Glen Sather said he hasn't had any discussion with Sundin or his agent, J.P. Barry, since the summer.

"I haven't the faintest idea of what he's doing," Sather said.

Montreal GM Bob Gainey said his team has moved on.

"I kind of took him off our radar screen in September, so I really don't have a clear answer for you," Gainey said. "We have moved on with our season and I guess he's deciding what he's going to do."

According to the reports, there is no timetable for Sundin's return, or definitive decision on whether in fact he even will return.

Team USA execs meet — Prior to heading into the GM meeting, Brian Burke, David Poile, Ray Shero and Don Waddell met to discuss matters relating to Team USA and the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Burke is the General Manager for the Team USA and Poile is the Associate General Manager.

"We had a meeting this morning and it was just to go through a lot of different things, like what's on the agenda and the time frame of what Brian and David are looking at and where we can help out to help those two guys to help USA Hockey," Shero told "We're just getting going, but Brian and David are very organized so it was good."

Another rule change? — One of the minor potential rule changes discussed Thursday had to do with hand passes.

As the rule currently stands, if the puck is inside the blue line the players on the defending team can hand pass without a whistle but the attacking team can not.

"We were wondering if we should make that the same," Detroit GM Ken Holland said. "The concern is more whistles and we want to keep the flow of the game."

Rule changes will be a topic of further conversation at the three-day GM meetings in Naples, Fla. from March 9-11.

"You've got to lay the fertilizer and it'll grow some momentum," Chicago GM Dale Tallon told "The next time we meet we can have discussions if the consensus is it's something we should delve into it further."

Still no "C" — Roberto Luongo is the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, but NHL rules stipulate that goalies are not allowed to wear a letter on their sweaters.

Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini told a group of reporters Thursday that there was discussion about changing that rule in the wake of Luongo's captaincy, but nothing is imminent.

"I don't see any changes in the near future," said Tambellini, the former Vice President and Assistant GM in Vancouver. "We're talking about people that are leaders anyway regardless of whether or not they have a 'C' on their jersey. I don't anticipate a change on that shortly."


No news on Gaborik — Minnesota star Marian Gaborik has been rumored to be on the trading block for weeks now, but Wild GM Doug Risebrough isn't showing his cards.

Gaborik is in the last year of his current contract. The trade deadline is March 3.

"I'm not going to offer anything," Risebrough said. "I know people are very curious, but it's important for me just to ... do it in a quiet, orderly manner and not get caught up in the speculation."

The Canadiens have been one of the teams rumored to be interested in Gaborik, but Gainey denied any current involvement in the situation.

"We haven't been involved with anything with Marian Gaborik," Gainey said. "Flat out, not involved."

This and that — There wasn't much discussed on future games in Europe, but Tambellini said that everyone in the room is open to going overseas again to start the 2009-10 season. … Detroit GM Ken Holland said there was some discussion on where the NHL and IIHF stand regarding a transfer agreement. Nashville GM David Poile spoke regarding the Alexander Radulov situation, but it was only for an update.

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