Sundin: 'Now it's up to us'

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

Captain Mats Sundin doesn't buy the theory that the Leafs owed him a chance to win a Stanley Cup by trading him at the deadline to a solid contender to reward 12 years of good service. He rather would stick it out and try to win one here.

"It's the way it goes," Sundin said of talk he would be shopped at the deadline, a once unthinkable fate for the third-highest scorer in team history. "If you're a team that's not going to be making it into the playoffs, there will always be rumours like that. But I've always felt that I want to spend the rest of my career as a Leaf and I'm glad management feel we still have a chance to make it.

"They didn't unload our veterans. They are the key players if you want to have a chance. They have shown faith in us, now it's up to us to show we can make it into playoffs."

Sundin has a no-trade clause and a year at $6.3 million US remaining on his contract.

FOUR IN THE STORE

With the passing of the trade deadline comes another headache for teams, a limit of four farm-team callups between now and the end of the season.

The Leafs used their first callup yesterday by bringing forward Ben Ondrus back from the Marlies.

Ondrus had played for the Leafs on Tuesday against Montreal, and then was returned to the AHL club.

If four callups are used up, an emergency roster situation can be declared, but those in the latter category must sit when the injured players return.

STEEP PRICE TO AXE ALEX

To no one's surprise, the Isles had no deadline nibbles on Alexei Yashin.

His monster contract still has five years and $35.3 million to run. Though he led them in scoring with 51 points before last night, it's hard to justify the cost. A buyout would cost the Isles $23.5 million, on a payment schedule of $2.35 million a year for 10 years, which counts against the cap. But it would free $5 million in cap space the next five years.

QUOTE, UNQUOTE

"It has been a whirlwind the past couple of days, but there's nothing quite like playing for the Leafs," he said. "Especially a Saturday night." -- Luke Richardson, who played for the Leafs last night for the first time since 1991.


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