SUN Hockey Pool

Mats eyeing office job?

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:00 AM ET

If Mats Sundin does make a comeback, it likely would be in a front-office role in the NHL or possibly in Sweden.

While indications are the 38-year-old Maple Leafs icon isn't contemplating a whole lot after getting married last summer to Josephine Johansson and announcing his retirement before the start of the season, he's not the type to sit still forever and likely will want to get back to work.

"He is taking his time," said Sundin's Sweden-based agent Claes Elefalk in an e-mail to Sun Media.

Sundin can expect some feelers from NHL clubs, as well as the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation. Not only did he have a Hall-of-Fame career in more than 18 years with the Quebec Nordiques, Vancouver Canucks and Leafs, he is well- respected for his knowledge of the game.

Though Sundin won gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, he won't have any direct involvement in Vancouver. He is studying the possibility of working as a colour analyst on television, but nothing has been finalized on that front.

Off the glass

The Penguins have put all contract talks with defenceman Sergei Gonchar on hold for the time being. The two sides are having a difficult time determining his value and the Penguins will be having have cap issues. Gonchar has a $5-million US cap hit this season, but GM Ray Shero has a big decision to make because he saw life without the veteran when he was injured earlier this season and it didn't look great. Gonchar could easily command $6 million the open market ... Senators' Mike Fisher has played himself into consideration for Team Canada, but there is a reason he won't make it: Philly centre Mike Richards. "They're basically the same player and they're likely going to take a guy like Richards ahead of Fisher," said a league executive.

Around the boards

You know how bad the trade market is when people get excited about a deal by the Wild to send Benoit Pouliot to Montreal for Guillaume Latendresse. "That's just because people are desperate to see deals happen," said a league executive. Both players make $800,000 per season and have underachieved ... St. Louis coach Andy Murray is facing plenty of questions about his future because his club isn't off to the kind of start anybody expected. A quarter of the way through the season, the Blues aren't looking like the team that challenged for a playoff spot last year. One possible alternative: Former Atlanta coach Bob Hartley.

Rumours du jour

The season is a write-off for Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford who now is trying to unload expiring contracts. No, the Hurricanes can't declare publicly they're going for the No. 1 pick in next June's NHL entry draft, it's fair to say they're a top contender because the last thing Leafs' GM Brian Burke wants is to finish last and hand Boston the top pick. Indications are that defencemen Aaron Ward ($2.5 million), Joe Corvo ($2.75 million) and Niclas Wallin ($1.725 million) are all being shopped. Veteran winger Ray Whitney, also set to become a UFA, is likely going to be given the option of being dealt to a contender ... Once goalie Rick DiPietro is ready to play, the Isles will be looking to move Martin Biron, but that could be a while. DiPietro, who is recovering from knee surgery, is going to need a conditioning stint with the club's AHL affiliate in Bridgeport before he's able to return.

BRUCE.GARRIOCH@SUNMEDIA.CA


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