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Sundin Needs More Time To Decide

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

Mats Sundin will not be signing any blockbuster contracts this week. Or perhaps any time soon.

The 37-year-old star centre sent out a statement via his agent J.P. Barry on Wednesday expressing his need for more time to mull over his playing future.

``I would like to thank all the teams who have expressed such sincere interest in my services,'' Sundin said in the statement.

``The numerous options provided to me were impressive and I have no doubt that each one presented a unique opportunity for me to finish my career in a terrific hockey environment.''

The Vancouver Canucks offered Sundin a $20-million, two-year deal. It's believed the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs also offered two-year contracts but for less money.

Sundin, an unrestricted free agent, still hasn't decided whether he wants to play next year.

``I spent a great deal of time yesterday reflecting upon the teams who stepped forward and the opportunities that each provided,'' said Sundin. ''Unfortunately, I am simply not close to being ready to make a decision about resuming my career at this time.

''I wish all the teams the very best and thank them for their interest.''

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