Sundin says he's undecided about his future
With the hockey world wondering what's going on in Mats Sundin's head, the long-time Toronto Maple Leafs captain released a statement on Wednesday indicating he's not ready to commit to playing in the NHL again.
Sundin became an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career on Tuesday and is the subject of intense interest from several clubs.
The Vancouver Canucks offered Sundin a $20-million US, two-year deal and Montreal, Detroit and the New York Rangers were also among those pursuing the player.
"The numerous options provided to me were impressive, and I have no doubt that each one presented a unique opportunity for me to finish my career in a terrific hockey environment," Sundin said in a statement released through his agent, J.P. Barry. "I spent a great deal of time yesterday reflecting upon the teams who stepped forward and the opportunities that each provided.
"Unfortunately, I am simply not close to being ready to make a decision about resuming my career at this time. I wish all the teams the very best and thank them for their interest."
Sundin is vacationing in Europe and will be getting married in the near future. He finished with 32 goals and 46 assists for 78 points in 74 games last season, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs in scoring for the fourth consecutive campaign.
The Swede has posted 555 goals and 766 assists for 1,321 points in 1,305 NHL games with Toronto and the Quebec Nordiques. He was selected first overall by Quebec in the 1989 draft and traded to Toronto five years later.
Sundin, 37, has yet to play in a Stanley Cup final. He earned $5.5 million US last season on a one-year deal that included a no-trade clause.
Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher had given Montreal and the New York Rangers permission to talk to Barry prior to July 1 in the hopes of working out a deal.
The Vancouver offer would have made Sundin the highest-paid player in the NHL. Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and Alexander Ovechkin of Washington currently top next season's salary list at $9 million US apiece.
With files from the Canadian Press