Sundin headed south

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:20 AM ET

Mats Sundin says he'll likely head south with his girlfriend during the all-star break, presumably somewhere with no hockey coverage.

This has been the most scrutinized of seasons for the Swede, who has made headlines for his strong play, his aversion to leaving Toronto amidst a storm of trade rumours and as player spokesman during months of management turbulence.

He let it be known he would rather pass up an invite to the all-star game, even though he's the logical Leaf representative with 54 points in 50 games before last night in Washington. Defenceman Tomas Kaberle will be going to Atlanta this weekend.

"We've played a lot of hockey lately (nine games in 16 days)," Sundin said yesterday as he strolled outside the team's Washington D.C. hotel. "This time of year, the games 40 to 60 are the toughest on the schedule, whether you're in first place or where we are."

COVE-TED COLLECTION

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is an ardent memoribilia collector and when you're vice chairman emeritus at AOL, run a hockey club and a men's and a women's pro basketball team, you get lots of opportunity to enhance your treasures.

Leonsis, whose 22,000 square-foot mansion in McLean, Va., recently was profiled by USA Today, has received a guitar from Bono of U2 fame, a signed acoustic guitar from The Grateful Dead and has a pair of Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves. He has a number of photos on display in his home with celebs such as Cal Ripken and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Also a film buff, he recently produced Nanking, a documentary about the Japanese invasion of the Chinese city in 1937 and Kicking, a documentary about the homeless around the world.

LOOSE LEAFS

During the Marlies' recent road trip to play the Iowa Stars in Des Moines, native son Scott Clemmensen was honoured by the city before the game in a ceremony attended by his parents, his high school coaches and the mayor. He is the first player from the state to be drafted by an NHL team ... When the Caps hit the .500 mark this week, coach Bruce Boudreau quipped "we've officially reached mediocrity.'


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