Good news for McCabe

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:30 AM ET

Bryan McCabe will avoid the knife.

The veteran Maple Leafs defenceman was relieved last night after an MRI conducted on a shoulder earlier in the day revealed he does not need surgery.

"It has been bugging me for a while but it was not anything that kept me from playing," McCabe said.

"I can strengthen it through rehab for the next month or so."

Because of the work he faces in the coming weeks, McCabe will not be joining Team Canada at the world championship later this month in Russia.

There is a good chance, meanwhile, that forward Boyd Devereaux, will require an operation on his ailing ankle.

Devereaux has what has been described as a "loose body" in his ankle, The injury dates back to his days as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes.

NOT A SHOCK

No one should be surprised at the news out of Sweden yesterday that Leafs captain Mats Sundin will not be suiting up for the Tre Kroners at the world hockey championship.

No offence to his native land, but the 36-year-old Sundin never was thinking seriously of taking part of the tournament.

"I have done my part in the past,"Sundin said. "I've played in a lot of them. It's time for some other guys to take over."

Sundin whetted his international hockey appetite 14 months ago when he led the Swedes to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Turin, a moment that served as the pinnacle of Swedish hockey.

Sundin has represented Sweden in seven world championships, two Olympics, one World Cup and a world junior.

Forward Alex Steen, meanwhile, has accepted Sweden's invitation and leaves today for Stockholm, where he'll begin preparing to help represent his native country.

"It's exciting," Steen said. "It has been a while since I had the experience of wearing that (Swedish jersey)."

Steen previously wore the blue-and-gold Tre Kroners uniform in September 2004 at the Finnish Cup. He also was on Team Sweden for a pair of world junior championships.

Incidentally, it may be a good thing for Steen that the worlds will not be contested on familiar ice for him. In one of those statistical oddities that is hard to explain, Steen led the entire NHL in 2006-07 in plus-minus in road games at plus-23. At home, he was minus-18.

Leafs forward Matt Stajan and defenceman Ian White have a good shot to be with Team Canada while a trio of Leafs prospects -- Karel Pilar (Czech Republic), Nikolai Kulemin (Russia) and Anton Stralman (Sweden) -- also are expected to take part.


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