Sundin asked to waive no-trade clause

{eot} Staff
2/24/2008 9:25:03 AM
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Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin has been asked to waive his no-trade clause.

Sundin spoke to the media at Saturday's morning skate and admitted that interim GM Cliff Fletcher had asked him to waive his clause, allowing the club to pursue a trade.

''The Leafs gave me a chance to think about it but as I said, my position hasn't changed since the start of the year.

''I have to do what feels right in my heart. I just don't think I can go to another team if I don't want to play for another team. That wouldn't be right to myself. That's how I feel right now.''

Sundin said he didn't feel surprised that Fletcher would approach him to waive the clause, saying that the club missed the playoffs two years in a row and are on the verge of a third.

''I understand. We're in a tough position for the third year in a row and I understand the business part of it. It's just part of professional sports,'' Sundin said.

Toronto has been home to Sundin for over 13 years and a move to another city, even short-term, wasn't something the 37-year-old was sure he wanted to do at this point in his career.

''If I would have been 27-years-old, I would have gone right away,'' Sundin said. ''Where I am in my career, I play it year-by-year and I'm not even sure if I'm going to play hockey next season.''

Fletcher said he met with Sundin's agent J.P. Barry on Friday and that the process of their discussions was still on-going, but that there were no significant offers from other clubs for Sundin's services.

''When I was approached by teams, most recently in Florida at the GM meetings, I just felt; don't waste my time and don't waste yours,'' said Fletcher. ''Let's see what unfolds first. If Mats gives me a list of teams that he would like to go to if he makes that decision - and he might not make that decision - than it will be up to me to start the ball rolling.''

On Friday, Darren Dreger reported that Fletcher and Sundin met a day earlier to discuss the captain's future with the team and it was believed Fletcher asked Sundin for a list of teams he would consider playing for.

With the trade deadline set for 3pm et on Tuesday, Sundin has only a few days to contemplate his future. The belief is the Leafs were hoping for a response from him on Friday. Instead, it may take the rest of the weekend for Sundin to make his decision.

When asked if he'd be in the blue and white against the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, Sundin responded: "I hope so."

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