Sundin takes in the love

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:12 AM ET

The cheers for Mats Sundin in Stockholm were so loud yesterday, you could almost hear them on this side of the Atlantic.

Brought in to drop the ceremonial opening faceoff prior to the season opener between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, Sundin was greeted with a one-minute standing ovation as he stepped onto the ice at the Globe Arena in Stockholm.

A native of the Stockholm area, Sundin was honoured in pre-game ceremonies as the highest-scoring Swedish-born player in NHL history, thanks to his total of 1,321 points.

Asked by reporters if there was any update on his future, Sundin said he definitely needed to make a decision on his playing future "in the next couple of months."

While speculation continues that the New York Rangers could be a likely destination should he decide to come back, Sundin is staying in touch with Leafs executive Joe Nieuwendyk.

'NOBODY KNOWS'

"We talk as friends," Nieuwendyk said last night. "He's interested in what's going on here. (But) as far as a possible decision goes, when he decides, he'll let everyone know. Nobody knows what he's going to do. Even his agent has no idea."

Back in 2003, Sundin and Nieuwendyk were teammates with the Leafs when the team held its training camp in Stockholm. Nieuwendyk said the Swedish adventure proved to be a great bonding experience for the players, who went on to post a single-season franchise record for points with 103 in 2003-04.

"I signed with the Leafs on Sept. 9 and we left for Sweden on Sept. 10," Nieuwendyk said. "It was probably the best thing for me to get to know my teammates."

Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher said yesterday the NHL is considering having eight teams kick off the 2009-10 season overseas.

"I remember how great it was having our training camp in London, England in 1993," Fletcher said. "(Then-coach) Pat Burns didn't like it, but his attitude changed when we started the season 10-0."


Videos

Photos