More good news for Mats

Mats Sundin received some more good news about his torn labrum. (Sun File/Craig Robertson)

Mats Sundin received some more good news about his torn labrum. (Sun File/Craig Robertson)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

The Maple Leafs received more encouraging news on the Mats Sundin front yesterday.

According to general manager John Ferguson, a North American hip specialist reiterated that Sundin would not require major surgery to address his injured labrum.

Ferguson, for the record, would not reveal the identity of the aforementioned specialist.

Either way, those results echoed the earlier findings of hip specialist Dr. Anders Valentin, who is considered to be one of the top orthopaedic surgeons in Sweden.

The news comes as the two sides close in on a new deal for the Leafs captain, one expected to be a two-year pact worth in the range of $5.5-million US to $6 million per season.

"Everything remains positive," said Ferguson of the talks, which seem to be in the home stretch.

"It remains the intent of both sides to get something done. There has been open communication throughout the process. It has been very professional."

COMBINE CHATTER

The Leafs are expected to interview up to 75 players this week by the time the 2007 prospects combine ends tomorrow in Toronto.

Included in that group is Swedish forward Mikael Backlund, the No. 2-ranked European skater who met with Leafs officials yesterday.

A number of mock drafts on the Internet have the Leafs taking Backlund with the No. 13 pick in the draft, which takes place in Columbus on June 22-23. But Leafs officials are quick to point out that a lot can happen between now and then.

Many scouts, in fact, feel the draft can go in many directions after the first eight selections.

"I think there will be a lot of different lists among the teams after that," Dave Morrison, Leafs director of amateur scouting, said yesterday.

"I think the (combine) is important. We've already created profiles on these players but this gives us a chance to see if they've finished growing physically or if their bodies haven't yet grown to their full potential.

"It's also a chance for some kids who might be coming in with some baggage to have the opportunity to explain themselves."

Ferguson, meanwhile, was optimistic that 2005 draft pick Phil Oreskovic would be signed by the end of the week.


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