Sundin Still Interested In Toronto
If Mats Sundin decides to resume his NHL career this season, he won’t limit his options to Stanley Cup contenders.
A source close to Sundin said yesterday the 37-year-old free-agent centre still has strong interest in returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 14th season.
Sundin has been intrigued by the Leafs’ youth movement and new head coach Ron Wilson’s system, and will keep a watchful eye on how the team develops over the next few weeks.
Sundin had a physical exam in Toronto this week and soon will embark on a two-week conditioning stint in Los Angeles. He will then decide whether he will return to the NHL.
A source close to Sundin says the 37-year-old free-agent centre still has strong interest in returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 14th season.
A source close to Sundin says the 37-year-old free-agent centre still has strong interest in returning to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 14th season. (Shaun Best/Reuters)
Several NHL clubs have been in contact with Sundin’s agent, J.P. Barry, since the season began.
But no formal negotiations will start until Sundin gives his representation the green light.
“He hasn’t committed to anything, including skating yet,” Barry said. “I will be patient.”
The longer Sundin waits, the more options he will have because more interested teams would have salary cap room for a prorated contract.
The Leafs made Sundin a one-year, $7-million (U.S.) offer that included a no-trade clause last July, and that offer remains on the table.
“No, there hasn’t been any contact with him,” Toronto general manager Cliff Fletcher said. “I hear he’s started to train, but we haven’t talked to him.”
The Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers have expressed interest in Sundin’s services.
The Leafs could use Sundin’s offence, but would be mindful to stay with their plan to develop a young core of players through ice time in key situations
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