Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sundin still debating choices with agent
By Pierre LeBrun
Mats Sundin continued to mull over offers from the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, spending hours on the phone with his agent, J.P. Barry.
"We believe we have all the information we need now to make a decision," Barry told ESPN.com on Thursday afternoon. "I'm going to talk with Mats for several more hours today and hopefully we can push toward a decision by tomorrow at the latest."
The New York Post reported in Thursday's editions that Sundin might delay his decision until late this month to give the Rangers more time to clear salary cap room. But Barry denied that.
"Not accurate," Barry said.
Still, anything is possible, and the process potentially could drag through the weekend. Sundin has struggled to make a decision. He has been presented a detailed report by Barry on both teams and keeps going back and forth.
Sundin took a break in talks with his agent Thursday to skate again with a pro team in Stockholm. Following the practice, he was scheduled to get back on the horn with Barry.
The Canucks have plenty of room under the NHL's $56.7 million salary cap to accommodate their $10 million a year offer to Sundin. The Rangers, who have very little cap room, can offer about $5 million on a one-year deal once they dump a few salaries. Forward Petr Prucha, a healthy scratch most of the season, is an obvious candidate, but other players also will have to be discarded.
The 37-year-old Sundin had 78 points (32 goals, 46 assists) in 74 games with Toronto last season, his 13th season with the Maple Leafs. The 6-foot-5 Swedish star has totaled 70 or more points every season of his career except for the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, when he had 47 points in 47 games.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.