Canucks star staying in Vancouver

Updated: September 24, 2004, 4:42 PM ET
Associated Press

Canucks captain Markus Naslund changed his mind about playing for a Swedish club during the NHL lockout and will return to Vancouver to train with teammates.

The forward had been set to play for MoDo. Among the teammates he will be joining in Vancouver is Mattias Ohlund.

Ottawa Senators stars Zdeno Chara and Martin Havlat were among seven NHL players to join European clubs Friday. There are 167 NHL players in Europe, according to the International Ice Hockey Federation.

Most of the NHL players in Europe have lockout clauses that permit them to return to North America when the impasse ends.

Chara, a Norris Trophy finalist last season, joined the Swedish club Farjestad, which on Thursday also signed defenseman Sheldon Souray of the Montreal Canadiens. Havlat, a speedy wing, joined Znojmo of the Czech league.

Other signings Friday included four defensemen -- Brett McLean of Colorado (Malmo in Sweden), Nick Schultz of Minnesota (Kassel in Germany), Andy Sutton of Atlanta (GCK in Switzerland) and Sami Salo of Vancouver (Frolunda in Sweden) -- and forward Jarkko Ruutu of Vancouver (IFK Helsinki in Finland).

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press