Mats Sundin and his representatives sat down with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher in Toronto on Friday, but the free agent centre said he's no closer to a decision on his playing future.
"It was a nice meeting, but what was said wasn't anything that hasn't been said before," Sundin said.
Sundin, 37, flew to Toronto from his native Sweden to play in Friday's Festival Cup fundraiser for Right to Play, a charity that aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged children worldwide through sport.
The veteran of 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs admitted to a feeling of comfort upon his return to the Air Canada Centre, despite having to change in the visitor's dressing room.
"It feels good. It's a good cause, and I'm happy to have been asked to play in this game," said Sundin. "There's great hockey players and celebrities. It's a good mix. But it definitely feels like coming home, for sure."
Sundin, Toronto's franchise leader in goals and points, received a warm ovation from the thousands in attendance prior to the game and acknowledged it by taking his helmet off.
He has had no shortage of offers from NHL teams — including the Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers — but he stated in two separate news conferences this week that he's still grappling with the commitment required to play again.
Should Sundin elect to retire, Friday's charity could mark the final time he skates at the arena where the Leafs have played since February 1999.
"I felt great about playing hockey last year," he said in Toronto on Thursday. "But all that disappears when you're not having a winning season and when you're not competing in the playoffs, because that's really all that matters.
"This is the best hockey town to play in in the world. [But] right now, the Toronto Maple Leafs don't have the best hockey team in the world.
"The fans in Toronto certainly deserve to have a team that competes for the Stanley Cup every year. Whatever happens to me — whether I'm not going to play anymore or whatever happens — I think Toronto's always the team in my heart.
"It will also be, whatever happens. When I retire, whenever that happens, that's not going to change."
Spezza surprised by Sundin saga
Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza, who was also participating in the game and spends the off-season in Toronto, has been stunned by how much attention Sundin's status has received this off-season.
"Because it's Mats in Toronto, it seems to be everybody just needs to know now," said Spezza. "Everybody [thinks] he should tell us now. Really, it's his decision, and he should have as long as he wants.
"I don't think he's going to [leave] the Leafs hanging. I'm sure they kind of know what's going on. Everybody feels like they need to be in the know. From a player on the outside, it's a little bit frustrating because you know what he's probably going through emotionally trying to figure out if he can play another year."
Sundin has also cited the physical grind of a long NHL season as a factor in his decision and Spezza, 23, said he can understand the hesitation.
"Most guys take a little bit more time to figure things out as they get on in their careers," said Spezza. "Joe Sakic took a long time [before re-signing with Colorado]; a guy like Brendan Shanahan still hasn't signed anywhere, Teemu Selanne...
"You just sit back and laugh at how much they're talking about it. I think if everybody would have given him a little bit of space, he probably would have had a decision by now."
Also suiting up for the Festival Cup will be NHLers Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza, Curtis Joseph, Matt Stajan, Robyn Regehr, Mike Cammalleri, Sean Avery, Mike Green, Andrew Ference and rookie Steve Stamkos.
Other celebrities lacing up include Hollywood's Tim Robbins, D.B. Sweeney, Cameron Bancroft and director Jason Reitman — all in town for the Toronto International Film Festival.