Sundin firm on staying with the Leafs
Mats Sundin has been asked by the Maple Leafs to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, but the Toronto captain said on Saturday that he remains adamant about staying with the organization.
Sundin, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, spoke to reporters after Saturday morning's skate, and admitted interim general manager Cliff Fletcher asked his permission to waive his no-trade clause.
While his consent would allow the team an opportunity to pursue a trade before Tuesday's 3 p.m. ET deadline, Sundin stood firm on his decision to refuse a move at this point.
''The Leafs gave me a chance to think about it and all that, but as I said, my position hasn't changed since the start of the year," he said.
''I have to do what feels right in my heart. I just don't think I can go to another team if I don't want to play for another team. That wouldn't be right to myself. That's how I feel right now.''
Sundin's agent, J.P. Barry, confirmed to Hockey Night in Canada's Cassie Campbell that his client wants to remain with the Leafs, but wouldn't rule out the possibility of Sundin reconsidering.
"Mats has not waived his no-trade clause," Barry said. "I think he would have to change his mind right now to do that."
"His inclination is to stay [in Toronto], but he's listening to everything and he's going to probably decide in the next 24 hours."
Barry also rejected the notion that Sundin would be doing the team a disservice if he refuses to be moved.
"He'll never be a disloyal Leaf," Barry said. "It's a tough decision, it's a decision that he has to follow in his heart. There's no real right decision. It's a difficult time."
On Friday, Sundin missed the morning practice due to what a team spokesman described as flu-like symptoms, fuelling speculation that a trade could be in the works.
The talk only intensified when it was reported later that Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher had a meeting with Sundin on Thursday and his agent the following day to discuss the captain's future with the club.
"Yes, I had a meeting with Mats [Thursday] and I met with his agent J.P. Barry [Friday]," Fletcher told the Canadian Press.
"And, yes, I met with Bryan McCabe this morning. But at this point, that's all I'm going to say. The process is ongoing."
Sundin and the Leafs host the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday (CBC, 7 p.m. ET) at the Air Canada Centre.