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Dreger: Who will be able to make Sundin fit?

Darren Dreger
10/31/2008 11:05:42 PM
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Mats Sundin's agent, J.P. Barry, believes his client is going to play this season. Teams with interest in Sundin have been advised to wait quietly to allow the 37-year old to continue to work out, and perhaps start skating next week, to guage where he's at before cranking up the discussions in mid-November.

The Vancouver Canucks, financially, are a good fit because they have the cap space to add Sundin with little or no complications, but that doesn't necessarily give the Canucks the edge. Sources say the Anaheim Ducks have interest in Sundin.  So do the San Jose Sharks, the New York Rangers, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Chicago Blackhawks and, yes, the Montreal Canadiens.

The question is, who among that group is willing to do whatever is necessary to make room for Sundin's contract?

Now this is where it gets complicated. Trading players for little or no money in return is an extremely tough sell in the National Hockey League. This will, however, be the option most teams choose to explore first. But when push comes to shove, will one of these team be lured enough by Sundin's talent to waive big money contracts and pay full frieght for those caught in the crossfire to play in the American Hockey League?

Multiple NHL executives say yes.

If the Montreal Canadiens believe Sundin will improve the team's chances of winning the Stanley Cup in this season of celebration, is George Gillette willing to pay Sundin and potentially eat millions to send players to the minors?

Well, we may be about to find out.

Darren Dreger

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