Like many Swedish NHLers, Mats Sundin was saddened to learn of the passing this week of Tommy Sandlin, one of the most famous coaches in Swedish hockey history.
Among Sandlin's best-known accomplishments was leading the Tre Kroner to the gold medal at the 1987 world hockey championship.
"That's such a shock," Sundin said yesterday when informed of Sandlin's death. "He was so young."
The cause of death was not immediately clear. Sandlin was 62.
"He was my coach at the 1990 worlds," Sundin said. "It was only one tournament but you could see how much of a teacher he was.
"He was one of the best-known coaches in Sweden for a long time."
PENS BELONG IN PITT
J-S Aubin would like to see the Penguins remain in Pittsburgh.
The veteran goaltender, who spent seven seasons in the Pens organization and still owns a home there, feels it is a good hockey city that is plagued by an antiquated building.
"I think the fans there deserve to keep the team," said Aubin, who will get the start against the Pens tonight at the Mellon Arena. "It's not their fault that the city does not build them a new rink."
TSN last night reported that the Phoenix Coyotes were among a number of teams who have contacted the Leafs in the wake of the Michael Peca injury. The names of forwards Mike Comrie and Dave Scatchard were among those said to be mentioned. The Leafs, however, will not mortgage the future and are allegedly taking a wait-and-see approach for the time being ... Rookie winger Aleksander Suglobov figures it is just a matter of time before he drains his first goal with the Leafs. Injuries to forwards Michael Peca, Nik Antropov, Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky have opened the door for more playing time for Suglobov, who has spent much of the season as a healthy scratch. He had a number of good opportunities against Minnesota Tuesday but could not convert. "At least I'm getting chances," he said. "I just hope the goal comes sooner than later."