Darcy too tuckered for worlds?

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Darcy Tucker's banged-up body might prevent him from representing Canada at the upcoming world hockey championship.

While Tucker's handlers have been contacted by Hockey Canada concerning an invite to the tournament, which runs May 5-25 in Riga, Latvia, the Maple Leafs forward is not ready to commit at this time.

Among his many bumps and bruises are the sore ribs he has been playing with, an injury he first suffered midway through the season.

"I'd love to wear the Canadian jersey, but it depends on how I feel physically," Tucker said last night after the Leafs' 6-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

"It's a decision I'll have to make down the road.

"I'm definitely not going to take someone else's job if I'm not healthy. It wouldn't be completely fair."

Tucker would not identify his health issues, but it is known that he is contemplating undergoing a number of medical procedures once the regular season ends tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Air Canada Centre.

Defenceman Bryan McCabe also is being considered, but don't expect him to accept.

McCabe has endured a a long season, especially after being part of Team Canada at the Turin Winter Olympics in February.

While the veteran defenceman would not comment when asked about the world championship last night, Team Canada assistant general manager Mike Barnett understands the plight of those players who competed at the Olympics.

"We realize it is a different year because of the Olympics, so we're not putting any pressure on the guys who were in Turin," Barnett said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Leafs defenceman Aki Berg has accepted an invite to represent Team Finland.

His decision comes as no surprise, especially since he is expected to retire from the NHL during the off-season and move his family back to his native Finland, where he will play in the Finnish elite league.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to go there (to live), but you never know," Berg said.

MATS SAYS NO THANKS

Mats Sundin, captain of the Olympic gold-medal champion Swedes, already has turned down an offer to play at the worlds.

Goalie Mikael Tellqvist received an invitation from the Tre Kroners yesterday, but wants to see how his lower body injury -- believed to be a knee problem -- holds up before making a commitment.


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