After weeks of trade speculation, Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin has made his decision and will not waive his no trade clause.
Sundin and his agent J.P. Barry met in Ottawa on Sunday in an effort to provide Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher with an official answer on whether or not the Leaf captain will consent to a trade.
"I have carefully considered the team's request that I waive my no-trade clause," Sundin said in a statement. "I have always believed I would finish my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf so the actual request was still a very difficult one for me to contemplate."
"I have spoken to and listened to my family and those closest to me about this issue. In the end, there is no right decision in a situation like this one."
"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL Club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."
For his part, Cliff Fletcher sounded prepared to move on to other options with Tuesday's trade deadline looming.
"There's not much you can do when a player chooses to exercise his no-trade or no-movement clause," Fletcher told TSN. "You have to respect it. We will have to look at other options and do the best we can under the circumstances. Mats just didn't want to be a rental player and he's not prepared at this time to sign a new contract. I am sure he will do what he usually does and wait until the summer to make his decision on what he's going to do (for next season)."
Sundin has been in Toronto since being acquired in a June 1994 trade. This season, he has scored 25 goals and 37 assists.
In 970 career games with the Maple Leafs, Sundin has 413 goals, 558 assists and 971 points.