A hitch in the plans?

STEVE SIMMONS

, Last Updated: 7:53 AM ET

TORONTO -- Is Mats Sundin about to divorce the Toronto 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 long-time 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 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: J.P. Ricciardi is on a roll of sorts. His pitching-strong Toronto 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 ... 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 cellular phone, 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 general manager Billy Beane was selected.

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 general manager and it gives the current coaches more time to find jobs ... An Alex Ovechkin stat to blow you away: Ovechkin has 40 more goals than anybody else on the Washington 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 Vancouver Canucks needed Roberto Luongo to be at his best, he wasn't.

SCENE AND HEARD: Still not explained by anyone: How is it that Michael Clemons retired in 2000, was eligible for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2004 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 or LeBron James, or Kevin Garnett is the MVP of this NBA season ... 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?

AND ANOTHER THING: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 ... If Ovechkin wins the Hart Trophy, he will be the first Washington athlete to win an MVP award since ex-Argo Joe Theismann in 1983 .... Number that doesn't make sense: Duncan Keith, plus-29, Chicago Blackhawks ... And hey, whatever became of Lonny Bohonos?


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