Leafs' cap room depends on Sundin

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

How much room will the Maple Leafs have when free agent shopping starts on Tuesday?

The total range could be about $17 million, including money saved from a Darcy Tucker buyout.

That's if projections of a new $56.3-million ceiling are correct, a rise from $50.3 million. The cap floor is expected to rise about $6 million to $40.3 million. Final figures will be announced by the league and the NHLPA this week.

Seven million dollars of that $17-million figure would come if Mats Sundin is off the books -- general manager Cliff Fletcher still had no word last night if the captain would stay, accept a trade to Montreal or let 29 teams bid.

Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey told The Canadian Press that he has had one brief telephone conversation thus far with Sundin. A planned trip to meet him in Sweden has yet to be finalized.

"I've spoken to him on the phone and I've spoken to his agent (J.P. Barry)," said Gainey. "He's trying to organize his ideas about what his future looks like.

The Leafs need a scoring forward, help on defence and, with the possible loss of both Andrew Raycroft and Scott Clemmensen, a budget goalie.

Toronto also could go after a Group 2 restricted free agent. Fletcher has indicated he won't sacrifice more than a second-round pick.


Videos

Photos