NHL

Canucks' GM Gillis continues his pursuit of Sundin

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TSN.ca Staff
7/18/2008 12:57:43 PM
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While Mats Sundin has remained quiet about his playing future, the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks has made it clear that Sundin is still wanted on the West Coast.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis spoke about the Sundin situation on the Team 1040 radio station in Vancouver on Thursday.

Gillis said that he was encouraged to continue an on-going dialoge with Sundin and that he is still confident that Sundin would accept the Canucks' two-year, $20 million contract and that the 2010 Winter Olympics would be a possible incentive to convince Sundin.

"What we have talked about is that if he (Sundin) were to play a couple more seasons, he would be the captain of the defending team in the Olympics in the town that he plays in, which we believe to be unprecedented, and may never be available to a player ever again." Gillis told the Team 1040.  "So we have talked about his captaincy of the Swedish Olympic team, but we haven't gone further than that at this point."

The last statement was a direct response to reports from Vancouver that Gillis had offered Sundin the captaincy of the Canucks, something that Gillis has flatly denied.

While rumours continue to swirl that a deal with the Canucks may be imminent, Sundin's agent, JP Barry says that Sundin remains will continue to take his time making a decision which will not happen until late July or early August.

"The Vancouver offer and the time that Mike (Gillis) has spent with Mats is important," Barry told TSN.  "But ultimately Mats has to decide to play and that is the first step here."

After being drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989, Sundin was dealt to Toronto in a blockbuster deal by then-Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher. The Maple Leafs traded Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson and first round pick to the Quebec Nordiques for Sundin, Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner and a first round pick.
 
The nine-time All-Star is the leading scorer in Maple Leafs franchise history. Over his 13 seasons in blue and white, Sundin scored 420 goals and 987 points and spent 10 years as team captain.

Sundin had another stellar season for the Maple Leafs, recording a team-best 32 goals and 78 points this past season. Sundin, a two-time second-team NHL All-Star, won a gold medal with Team Sweden at the Torino Olympics in 2006.
 
In 83 playoff games, Sundin has scored 35 goals and 74 points, with all but four of those points coming in a Leafs uniform.

Mats Sundin (Photo: Dave Abel/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Abel/Getty Images)
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