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Sundin Talks About His Decision

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

OTTAWA  (CP) -- Some long-suffering fans in Toronto might disagree, but Mats Sundin is at ease with his decision to remain with the Maple Leafs.

``Personally, it feels good,'' Sundin said Monday morning, following the team's pre-game skate at Scotiabank Place, where Toronto plays the Ottawa Senators.

The 37-year-old was meeting the media face-to-face for the first time since he and agent J.P. Barry issued a statement saying the Swedish centre wouldn't waive the no-movement clause in his contract.

That will keep Leafs interim GM Cliff Fletcher from dealing the team's captain before Tuesday's NHL trade deadline.

``We looked at every different angle in terms of what my position has been and the situation of where I am at this stage of my career and all of that,'' said Sundin. ``I think at the end, I followed my heart and I just haven't felt the desire to go to any other team or play for any other team at this point.''

Sundin becomes an unrestricted free agent following the season and Toronto could lose him for nothing at that point.

He was thought to be the Leafs most desired asset by other NHL teams, but Fletcher will have to come up with a Plan B if he's to begin cleaning house at the Air Canada Centre with the Leafs languishing out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference for the third straight year.

``There's nothing I can control about what people are going to feel about my decision,'' Sundin said. ``I hope people respect my decision and I can't really worry about what people are going to say about it.

While his stance keeps Fletcher's hands tied, it was met with support from inside the Leafs' dressing room.

``He's here, we like having him around, he's a good man and a great leader,'' said coach Paul Maurice.

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