The Mats Sundin rumour mill slowed down considerably on Monday, as the unrestricted free agent forward confirmed to a Swedish newspaper that he hasn't decided yet on whether he'll return to the National Hockey League next season.
On Sunday, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported that Sundin agreed to play for the Vancouver Canucks, a claim that Sundin's representatives flatly denied.
"I will make a decision in the end of July or beginning of August," Sundin told the newspaper. "If I am going to play it's for the full season and I want to be there from the beginning of August."
The Canucks and Montreal Canadiens have long been reported as the leading suitors for his services, and the 17-year NHL veteran hasn't ruled out his former team either.
"The Maple Leafs are not out of the picture if I decide to play," he told Aftonbladet. "They made me a very good offer, even if it isn't even close to what the Canucks have offered. But I have been in Toronto for 13 seasons and it is like home to me. Nothing is out of the picture. I got a very good offer from them as well as one from Montreal. But Vancouver's contract was in a class by itself if you look only at the money."
The Canucks raised a lot of eyebrows on July 1 when news broke that the team offered Sundin a two-year contract worth $20 million. Last week, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told a Vancouver radio station that he was encouraged to continue an ongoing dialogue with Sundin and was confident that he would accept the Canucks' offer.
"It is very flattering at my age," Sundin said of the Canucks' deal. "And it's unusual to offer a two-year contract to a 37-year-old. But I will start thinking of the offers the day I decide to go on for another season. I have to be sure that I have the energy to go through another season at this level."
Sundin is coming off another productive campaign, recording 32 goals and 78 points with the Maple Leafs.
The two-time second-team NHL All-Star won a gold medal with Team Sweden at the Torino Olympics in 2006, and Gillis hopes to lure Sundin to Vancouver with the chance of captaining the defending gold medallists in the 2010 host city.
"I doubt that I will play for Sweden in the Olympics one more time," he told Aftonbladet. "But you should never say never."