Sundin won't commit to Leafs

Mats Sundin talks to reporters at the Air Canada Centre on April 19, 2006. Word has quietly...

Mats Sundin talks to reporters at the Air Canada Centre on April 19, 2006. Word has quietly filtered out that Sundin was contemplating his future in Toronto. (Alex Urosevic, Toronto Sun)

STEVE SIMMONS

, Last Updated: 12:36 PM ET

Is Mats Sundin about to divorce the Maple Leafs, while making a personal long-term life commitment at the very same time?

Word has quietly filtered out that as Sundin was contemplating his future in Toronto, the longtime bachelor and Leafs captain was, in fact, asking his girlfriend, Josephine Johansson, to be his wife.

The couple now is engaged to be married and, if a date has been set for the wedding, in typical Sundin fashion, nobody is saying so.

Just how marriage and the possibility of having a family impacts Sundin's future is anyone's guess. There are, it seems, four hockey options for him.

He could: a) retire; b) re-sign in Toronto; c) sign with another NHL team; d) pull a Teemu Selanne or Peter Forsberg and take most of next season off, returning in time for the playoffs.

For answers, as always, we stay tuned. With Sundin it is ever thus.

THIS AND THAT

GM J.P. Ricciardi is on a roll of sorts. His pitching-strong Blue Jays are looking sharp in the early season. His long-term signings of Alex Rios and Aaron Hill seem like can't-miss value. There is, for the first time in ages, reason to be excited about the Jays ... Now that Robbie Alomar and Paul Beeston have taken their rightful places on the Jays' Level of Excellence, who is next? Probably no one until Carlos Delgado or Roy Halladay are ready ... Biggest early-season problem at the Rogers Centre: Security. There was a fight or 10 in the stands on opening night and a woman with her shirt off running around the field ... There should be a rule: If you are seated behind home plate and you wave to your friends on television while talking on your cellphone, you should be automatically asked to leave the ballpark ... Little-known fact: Jays manager John Gibbons and Boston manager Terry Francona were taken two spots apart in the 1980 baseball draft. Between them, Oakland GM Billy Beane was selected. Smaller world. Also from that round, ex-Jays Kelly Gruber, Frank Wills, Ken Dayley, Darnell Coles and Jim Acker.

HERE AND THERE

Cliff Fletcher, who has done a whole lot of nothing since coming to the Leafs, should fire his coaching staff as quickly as possible. Why? Because it clears the slate for the incoming GM and it gives the current coaches more time to find jobs ... Only possible reason to retain Paul Maurice: If you believe the Leafs have no hope of progressing next season, he can play caretaker coach about as well as anybody ... Best reason to fire Maurice: He was hired to take Pat Quinn's place. Quinn's Leafs played 80 playoff games in seven seasons and missed the playoffs just once. Maurice is 2-for-2 in missing the playoffs ... An Alex Ovechkin stat to blow more people away: He has 40 more goals than anybody else on the Capitals, which is amazing, considering that 22 teams in the NHL don't even have a 40-goal scorer ... Forget the family stuff. When the Canucks needed G Roberto Luongo to be at his best, he wasn't ... If the Senators are looking for someone to blame for Daniel Alfredsson being hurt, blame Alfredsson. He put himself in a horribly vulnerable position. The fact that Mark Bell, of all people, hit him is evidence enough of that.

SCENE AND HEARD

Still not explained by anyone: How is it that Mike "Pinball" Clemons retired in 2000, was first eligible for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004 but doesn't get elected until '08? ... And while on the subject, if the Hall voters settled on Doug Flutie, Mike Pringle and Pinball as just about the greatest class ever, why elect John Bonk alongside them? Can't remember anyone anywhere saying: Why isn't John Bonk in the Hall of Fame? ... New Orleans point guard Chris Paul and not Kobe Bryant, not LeBron James, not Kevin Garnett, is the MVP of this NBA season ... For all those, myself included, who couldn't see Shaquille O'Neal fitting into the Phoenix lineup, we give you this: Of late, Shaq has had rebounding games of 18, 16, 15, 14, and a bunch more with 13 ... There is nothing more fun to watch, partisanship aside, than David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez bat back-to-back with the Red Sox ... I give up, why doesn't Lindy Ruff ever get asked to coach Canada internationally? Why employ a trapping coach such as Ken Hitchcock for the world championship when Ruff was available? ... Now that Donnie Walsh is in and Isiah Thomas is about to be out, what happens to good guy Glen Grunwald with the Knicks?

AND ANOTHER THING

The Leafs truly are annoying. They didn't get a lottery pick. They didn't stock up on a future draft choices. They didn't trade away many stiffs and, when it mattered, they couldn't knock the darn Senators out of the playoffs ... At least the Panthers can say they knocked out either Washington or Carolina ... Can't begin to recommend who to take in playoff pools until I see the first-round matchups. But somehow I like Anaheim and the Rangers to be around at the end ... Is there anything more meaningless than baseball suspensions? Melky Cabrera gets suspended for three games on March 13. He appeals his suspension. He starts the season and hits a home run for the Yankees. Then he drops his appeal and his suspension is reduced from three games to two. He served it Friday and yesterday ... Toronto didn't draw a late enough date for its Buffalo Bills pre-season game against Pittsburgh. The game is Aug. 14. That means fans will be paying huge money to watch a bunch of players who will be on waivers by the time the season starts in September ... If Ovechkin wins the Hart Trophy, he will be the first Washington athlete to win an MVP award since Redskins QB Joe Theismann in 1983 ... Number that doesn't make sense: D Duncan Keith, plus-31, Blackhawks ... And hey, whatever became of Lonny Bohonos?


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