Crosby's golden puck also vanished

The head of the Vancouver Games and the International Ice Hockey Federation acknowledge the puck from Canada's 3-2 overtime win over the U.S. also went missing, although the IIHF says it has been found.

Sidney Crosby's missing Olympic gear may be back in the fold, but where's the gold-medal puck?

The head of the Vancouver Games and the International Ice Hockey Federation both acknowledged the puck from Canada's 3-2 overtime win over the U.S. also went missing, but the IIHF says it has been found.

John Furlong, CEO of the VANOC organizing group, was awaiting confirmation on that Thursday.

"I knew it was missing because people were talking about it," Furlong said in an interview. "There's apparently some discussion going on today that it may have been found, but I'm not sure. I haven't had anybody tell me that it's found, personally tell me.

"I know that they found the stick and the glove and I'm not sure what's going on with the puck, but I understand it may have been secured. But I'm not sure, I'm waiting to hear."

Crosby's game-winning stick and one of his gloves were temporarily missing, but Hockey Canada said Wednesday they had been misplaced during packing.

Szymon Szemberg, the IIHF's communications director, says the puck has also been found.

"We can inform you that we have had a parallel issue with the missing game puck with which Crosby scored THE GOAL, but we will in the next couple of days be able to officially announce that the puck is missing no more," he said in an email to The Canadian Press, responding to a query about Crosby's missing gear.

"It [the puck] has been located and will be sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame to be put on display for the whole world to see."

Belongs to organizers: Furlong

But Furlong says the puck belongs to Games organizers.   

"The puck wouldn't belong to Sidney Crosby anyway," he said. "Where it ends up is the question.

"Who owns it? Well, we would own it, but where it ends up ... it will likely end up in the same place, no matter who found it, where it is, who has it. It will likely end up in the same place, which is where it is going to do the most good in terms of its long-term legacy value.

"A lot of people are going to want to sit and admire this little piece of rubber that is probably the most significant, how many ounces, in all of history," he added.

Dennis Kim, VANOC's vice-president of licence and merchandising, said pucks were among items saved for auction on the Games website or "for historic purposes for partners."

"As many as 30 or more pucks are used for each hockey game, so the process of selecting and categorizing those for auction with absolute certainty, including those from the medal-round games, understandably takes a little longer," he said in a statement.

"Although the process for tracking the pucks was a meticulous one, since we're asking people to pay money for something through auction or to potentially display it publicly for historic purposes, we're taking the extra care and time to verify the puck inventory we collected.

"We understand and appreciate the public and media interest in hockey pucks as 2010 Games memorabilia and as soon as we can make more pucks available for auction or to our partners for historical purposes, we'll do so."

Canadians are no strangers to puck drama.

The mystery over what happened to the puck Paul Henderson shot past Vladislav Tretiak in Moscow to win hockey's Summit Series for Canada in 1972 gets murkier by the year.