Suglobov rushes back to Russia

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Aleksander Suglobov's opinion on passing the puck was quite similar to that of former Maple Leaf Sergei Berezin.

Simply put, neither liked to do it.

Either way, the enigmatic winger is now the problem of Barry Smith, the former Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach who is the director of hockey operations with SKA St. Petersburg in the Russian elite league.

Suglobov, who recently signed with St. Petersburg, spent the majority of the 2006-07 campaign with the AHL Marlies. When he did get his chance with the Leafs last season he sputtered badly, going pointless in 14 NHL games while finishing minus-6.

"I met with him at the world championships (in Moscow)," Leafs general manager John Ferguson said. "I congratulated him and wished him nothing but the best in the coming season with Barry Smith."

Playing on a one-way deal that paid him $550,000 US last season, Suglobov, 25, only had 13 points in 32 games for the Marlies.

Suglobov was acquired prior to the March 2006 trade deadline from the New Jersey Devils for veteran defenceman Ken Klee.

BORJE IN THE BUFF?

Once his playing days were over, former Leafs great Borje Salming became the undergarment magnate of Sweden.

But no one could have predicted this next move.

A press release issued yesterday blared: BORJE SALMING -- From Ice to Canvas.

"A Toronto icon turned nude model in Sweden -- world premiere for brand new exhibit of hockey legend," the release continued.

It seems Salming posed for 31, ah, unique portraits by former graffiti artist Johan Wattberg. Ten of those will be exhibited during a one-night showing in Stockholm tomorrow night, while the remaining 21 -- by no coincidence, that's the number he wore with the Leafs -- are to be exhibited in Toronto at the start of the 07-08 season.

"I didn't see this one coming," Salming said.

Neither did anyone else.

"I was almost (skeptical) at first. But after seeing the artist's former work, I was convinced. It's not the every-day-artsy-pantsy stuff. It's hard core. I like them and I think others will too."


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