Mats says no to Olympics

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Sorry, Mr.Lundqvist, but this is one Olympic dream that will not come to fruition.

Despite your best hopes, Mats Sundin will not be reuniting with you as part of Team Sweden's attempt to repeat as Olympic gold medal champions at the 2010 winter games in Vancouver.

With Sundin captaining the Tre Kronor and the aforementioned Henrik Lundqvist standing on his head in goal, the Swedes became national heroes by defeating the arch-rival Finns in the title game at the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy.

Now, less than two years later, Sundin is playing some of the best hockey of his career at age 36, a situation Lundqvist is quite aware of.

"Hopefully he'll be back with us in Vancouver,"Lundqvist said. "I'd love to see him on the team. We had a lot of leaders in Turin but he was the main guy."

A nice thought. Too bad it's not going to happen.

Informed of Lundqvist's comments yesterday,Sundin had a good chuckle before setting the record straight.

"I won't be around, I can assure you of that," Sundin said. "I won't play (in the Olympics)."

Having inked a one-year deal with the Leafs over the summer in order "to keep my options open at the end of the season,"Sundin is enjoying a banner campaign.

By beating Lundqvist last night and adding a helper, the all-time leading scorer in franchise history has potted 14 goals and added 22 assists for 36 points.

"It's impressive that he is still going so strong," Lundqvist said. "But when you've been in the league for 15 or 16 years, you have to have some luck too. You have to avoid injuries. You never know when you might take a bad hit. He's managed, for the most part, to avoid those things.

"I think if you asked people in Sweden about the great Swedish hockey players, you would hear about Borje Salming, Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg. I know I would pick those three."

Lundqvist had a rare off night in the Rangers' 6-2 loss last night, allowing four goals on 10 shots before being replaced by Steve Valiquette for the third period.

"A big part of our game is goaltending," he said. "I know I have to play better.


Videos

Photos