Flyers high on Sundin

Mats Sundin's friends say the free agent continues to lean towards retirement. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

Mats Sundin's friends say the free agent continues to lean towards retirement. (Sun Media/Dave Abel)

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Add Paul Holmgren to the lengthy list of NHL general managers playing The Mats Sundin Waiting Game.

Like Montreal's Bob Gainey, Toronto's Cliff Fletcher, New York's Glen Sather and Vancouver's Mike Gillis, among others, the Flyers boss knows that the former Maple Leafs captain might hang up his blades for good -- at least in the NHL anyway.

But should Sundin opt to come back for the 2008-09 season, Holmgren makes one thing perfectly clear: The Flyers want to be a part of the Mats Sundin sweepstakes.

"He's a future Hall of Fame player," Holmgren said yesterday from the Philadelphia area. "We just want to throw our name in the hat.

"We're always looking to improve. We don't even know yet if anything will come of it. We don't know if he's going to play. But if he wants to play, we have an interest."

How would the Flyers fit Sundin under the cap when they already are close to the limit?

"We haven't got to that point yet," Holmgren said. "Obviously it would be a short-term thing with Mats Sundin. Right now, other than kicking tires and putting our toes in the water, that's where we stand. He's a free agent and we've made inquiries.

"We're always looking to improve."

Sundin's agent, J.P. Barry, Sunday downplayed a report out of New York that the Rangers and, to a lesser extent, the Flyers, were the big Swede's preferred choices. But according to friends, Sundin, given the choice between the two markets, would favour The Big Apple over The City of Brotherly Love.

Those same friends, meanwhile, indicate Sundin continues to lean toward retirement.


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