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Wild about Gaborik

Marian Gaborik skates against the Calgary Flames. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Marian Gaborik skates against the Calgary Flames. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

• A recent four-hour dinner meeting between Minnesota Wild management and star right winger Marian Gaborik in Slovakia reportedly went well and could set the stage for his eventual re-signing.

While Wild GM Doug Risebrough and assistant GM Tom Lynn have yet to make a contract offer, they spoke with Gaborik, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency next July, about his role in the team’s plans.

Gaborik’s agent insisted his client never agreed to re-sign with the Wild and Lynn admitted if contract talks should reach a stalemate the club could consider trade options.

Neither side wants those talks to become the kind of distraction the Atlanta Thrashers faced with Marian Hossa last season. Because of this, the Wild could move Gaborik early this season, but thus far it appears both sides may be keen to get a deal done.

• Mats Sundin’s unwillingness to make a decision on his future has kept his name active in this summer’s rumor mill.

Last week, the New York Post created a stir by claiming Sundin had decided he wanted to sign with the Rangers. That story was quickly denied by his agent, but was followed by reports of Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren having interest in the longtime Maple Leafs captain.

Both clubs, however, are currently pressed against the league’s $56.7 million cap, leaving little room to sign him.

Forget about talk of Sundin possibly accepting a $2 million, bonus-laden contract. After taking a “hometown discount” to play with the Maple Leafs last season, he’s likely to seek at least $7 million this time around, should he decide to play.

Unless the Rangers or Flyers are willing to dump significant salary prior to signing Sundin, it seems unlikely he’ll be playing for either club.

• The hoopla surrounding a possible trade of Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe to the Florida Panthers has subsided, but speculation persists over the potential return to the Leafs should this deal go through in September, as rumored.

Defenseman Mike Van Ryn remains linked to this deal since the Leafs would need an experienced blueliner to replace McCabe and a recent report in the Miami Herald suggested veteran right winger Richard Zednik could also be part of the package.

The combined cap hits of Van Ryn and Zednik is a little more than $4.5 million. With McCabe’s cap hit at $5.75 million, the Leafs could potentially save more than $1 million in payroll this season.

Zednik has one season remaining on his current contract and Van Ryn has two.

It remains to be seen whether this McCabe-to-Florida rumor will come to fruition. Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher and McCabe’s agent Ian Pulver offered no further word on the rumor following their initial denials, while Panthers GM Jacques Martin refuses to comment.

• USA Today reported last week former Los Angeles Kings forward Ladislav Nagy signed a two-year, $5.6 million contract with Cherepovets of the Kontinental League.

Nagy was among the few notable players remaining in this summer’s UFA market, but was unable to land a contract with an NHL team.

However, his agent said Nagy hasn’t ruled out a possible return if an NHL club is willing to provide him with the playing time he needs to perform at a high level.

Should efforts on a transfer agreement between the NHL and KHL fall through, Nagy could possibly return this season.

Rumor Roundup appears Mondays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.

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