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Sundin To Decide By August 1

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by Mike Ball

According to his agent, J.P. Barry, Mats Sundin has set an August 1 deadline to make his decision on the upcoming season, whether it be to stay, to go, or to hang up the skates and step back from the game.

"Mats has decided he will make a decision by Aug. 1," Barry told the Vancouver Province Wednesday.

Sundin has also told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the long-time leader of the Blue and White has not ruled out a return to Toronto and that re-joining the Leafs has become even more intriguing to the centreman with the additions of Joe Nieuwendyk to the front office and Curtis Joseph in the back-up netminder role.

Rumours surfaced over the weekend that Sundin had accepted the Vancouver Canucks reported two-year $20 million contract offer, but Sundin has confirmed that is not the case and that the Maple Leafs are still very much a viable option for the 37-year old Swede.

"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 Montreal. But Vancouver's contract was in a class by itself if you look at only the money."

Sundin also conveyed in the Swedish paper that his only decision right now is to play or not to play. Once he has an answer to that question, he will move on to the decision of where.

 "I will start thinking of the offers the day I decide to go on for another season," said Sundin.

 "I have to be sure that I have the energy to go through another season at this level."

Additionally, Vancouver GM Mike Gillis seems to believe that Sundin is only considering two spots, his Canucks and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"What I took from it (his comments to the Swedish news source) was that it sounds like he is considering two teams -- Toronto and us."
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