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Contract talks stall between veteran defenceman Ohlund and Canucks

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Contract talks stall between veteran defenceman Ohlund and Canucks

The Canadian Press
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VANCOUVER, B.C. - Contract talks between veteran defenceman Mattias Ohlund and the Vancouver Canucks have stalled.

"I don't think there's too much going on at the moment, but we'll see what happens," Ohlund said Friday after the Canucks' morning skate in advance of a game against the Edmonton Oilers.

Ohlund, 32, is playing out his option on a four-year contract that pays him US$3.5 million this season. The 11-year NHL veteran ranks as the longest-serving Canuck following Trevor Linden's retirement after last season.

Ohlund said his Calgary-based agent J.P. Barry and Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis discussed a new contract earlier in the season, but the discussions have since stopped. Ohlund said he does not expect negotiations to resume in the near future, but he is not sure of Barry's plans.

"Right now, I'm just focusing on hockey and I'm leaving (a possible new contract) to J.P. (Barry) and Mike (Gillis)," said Ohlund. "We've still got some time. We'll figure it out one way or the other."

The Pitea, Sweden native, who has spent his entire NHL career with Vancouver, said during the pre-season that he would prefer to remain with the Canucks, but would be okay with playing elsewhere if necessary. Ohlund holds considerable market value because of his defensive steadiness and strong offensive abilities, but he also has a no-trade clause.

Gillis would need his permission to move him before the March trading deadline.

New Canucks centre Mats Sundin credited Ohlund with helping him decide to sign with the club. But it remains to be seen how long Ohlund and Sundin, who is scheduled to hold his first media availability in Vancouver on Dec. 30, will stay teammates.

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Contract talks stall between veteran defenceman Ohlund and Canucks