Sundin says he's a Leaf forever

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:47 AM ET

Mats Sundin once again wants to make one point perfectly clear to all the rumour mongers out there.

Whether the Maple Leafs make the playoffs or not -- and he's not spending a lot of time thinking about the latter scenario -- Sundin is set on returning to Toronto next season.

Sundin, who is just one goal shy of tying Darryl Sittler's career franchise mark of 389, will cost the Leafs about $6.3 million US on their 2007 salary cap should they decide to pick up the team option on him.

By casting him loose, the Leafs might take a run at signing him to a new deal that is more economically favourable to the cap.

Whichever route the two sides opt to take, No. 13 plans on being in blue and white until his playing days are over.

"I've said all along that I want to finish my career as a Leaf," Sundin said yesterday. "I have no desire to go anywhere else.

"I haven't thought about my contract or negotiations, anything like that. Right now I'm focused on helping get us a spot in the playoffs. That other stuff will take care of itself in the summer.

"Whatever happens, I plan on being back."

KRIS CASHES IN

The Maple Leafs announced yesterday that forward Kris Newbury has been signed to a two-year contract.

Newbury, who has been recovering from a concussion, has been skating hard with his teammates but still has not received medical clearance to participate in a game.

"He's just not there yet," coach Paul Maurice said. "You have to be careful with these types of injuries."

THE TRAINER'S ROOM

Having recently been plagued by clavicle and back issues, forward John Pohl hopes to be back in the lineup tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. "I'm ready to go," he said ... Forward Kyle Wellwood left practice after just five minutes yesterday but Maurice expects him to play against the Sabres. Wellwood underwent sports hernia surgery in January. "He's fine," Maurice said. "He just didn't warm up the way he wanted."


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