Coach: Sundin's conditioning a concern

Updated: March 23, 2005, 1:53 PM ET
Associated Press

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin will skip this year's hockey world championships, slated to start in Austria next month.

"Unfortunately, it's true. We talked to each other today and he said no," Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson told a local television network Wednesday.

Sundin's decision was expected. Unlike many other locked-out NHL players, the Stockholm native decided not to play this winter, turning down an offer from his former Swedish Elite League club Djurgarden.

He hasn't played since Sweden lost to the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey quarterfinals last September.

"Mats believes he can't get in shape for the worlds and I can understand that," Gustafsson said.

The world championships will be held April 30-May 15 in Innsbruck and Vienna.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press