Six teams seek Sundin

Mats Sundin has six teams chasing him, according to his agent. SUN MEDIA/Michael Peake

Mats Sundin has six teams chasing him, according to his agent. SUN MEDIA/Michael Peake

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

As soap operas go, the Mats Sundin sudsfest is getting as loopy to follow as Coronation Street.

Just when everyone thought Sundin's choices were down to three -- return to the Maple Leafs, take big bucks with the Vancouver Canucks, or retire -- and that he would decide by today, agent J.P. Barry told a Vancouver radio station that six teams were in the hunt and Sundin could take well into August to make his call.

"The number (of teams) has gone up, not gone down since July 1," Barry told the Team 1040 yesterday.

The Leafs, Canucks, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are thought to be in the six-pack, while Detroit has dropped out. At least it appears Sundin will play somewhere in 2008-09.

"There are other teams that have said: 'We're that interested in a short-term, one-to-two year deal. We just want to let you know that if you give us some time, we'll make room', " Barry said. "So I don't think the demand will slow down if he takes longer.

SOME TIME THIS MONTH

"When he was speaking in Sweden about August, unfortunately a lot of people picked up on (Aug. 1). He meant some time in August he would definitely decide because he'll definitely be in training camp."

In an e-mail to Sun Media yesterday, Barry that there are no medical issues with Sundin that could be delaying his decision.

Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher has given up trying to put a time frame on this saga's end, but won't get into a bidding war. He and Sundin know the Leafs can't offer more than $7 million US for this year and if money was the issue, he would have taken the Canucks' $10 million last month and become the NHL's highest-paid player.

"Six teams might be true and might not," Fletcher said yesterday. "But it's no consequence because we've said since July 1 we'd have to be ready to play without him. He has his own priorities and if he wants to come back, that's great."


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