A clause for concern

Cliff Fletcher won't approach any of his players with no-trade clauses unless he has a deal in...

Cliff Fletcher won't approach any of his players with no-trade clauses unless he has a deal in place. SUN MEDIA/Dave Abel

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 2:29 PM ET

NAPLES, FLA. -- The Maple Leafs aren't conducting a charity auction at this week's NHL GMs' meetings.

Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher has been given a mandate to clean up the mess in Toronto, but he's looking for a king's ransom if he's going to ask captain Mats Sundin to waive his no-trade clause before next Tuesday's trade deadline.

"I'm pretty sure you can have any player on their roster," a league source said.

A league executive told Sun Media yesterday that the asking price for Sundin is "ridiculous" and unless it comes down, it's doubtful he'll be moved. It's believed the Leafs are asking for two young players and two draft picks for Sundin, who would likely have to sign a contract extension for another team to deal for him.

The talk is Detroit, San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver, Montreal and Dallas have all shown an interest in Sundin.

Fletcher wouldn't discuss Sundin's situation, but said with four other players on the roster -- Bryan McCabe, Darcy Tucker, Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle -- having no-trade clauses, those players "control their own destiny."

The market for Sundin just got a little bigger after free-agent centre Peter Forsberg announced yesterday he won't be coming back this season.

Fletcher said he won't approach any of the players with no-trade clauses unless he has a deal in place.

"We have a few issues to deal with," said Fletcher. "We'll deal with the (no-trade clauses) when it happens. You work with the situations that you're presented with and do the best you can. That's all that you can do.

"I won't ask (the players to waive their no-trade clauses) until I can go with something tangible that they can evaluate. If you go to a player in advance, he's going to come back and say, 'Well, where would I go? It may depend where I'm going.'

"So, it's a waste of time. If you have something you think the player would be interested in, then you go to the player."

BUSY GMS

While Fletcher is among the busiest GMs at the meetings, he's not alone. The Kings, Islanders, Lightning, Blue Jackets and Oilers are all expected to be sellers.

But the GM with the most difficult dilemma is Atlanta's Don Waddell. He's received calls from at least 10 teams about potential free-agent winger Marian Hossa.

Sources say the Habs, Bruins, Senators, Rangers, Sharks, Ducks, Wings and Stars are among a group of teams that have made a pitch for Hossa. Waddell said if he's going to deal Hossa, the Thrashers have to get immediate help in return.

"You make lots of tough decisions," said Waddell. "I still remain with three options: The first one is closing in on us with the deadline and that's signing him. The second is trading him and the third is keeping him to try to win the Southeast Division, which is very important to us.

"We're two points out of a playoff spot. That's big for us. We're talking about Marian Hossa and some teams feel like they can make a deal that will put them over the edge.

"We won't make a deal for a first-round pick or a second pick, that doesn't make any sense for us. We have to make a deal that will allow us to put pieces in our lineup right away."

PROSPAL LIKELY GONE

Tampa GM Jay Feaster, who is talking to teams about defenceman Dan Boyle and winger Vaclav Prospal, and Buffalo GM Darcy Regier -- who is trying to re-sign blueliner Brian Campbell -- are both getting plenty of calls. It's believed Prospal will be moved, but Feaster isn't sure what to do with Boyle.

"I've had lots of calls about (Boyle)," said Feaster. "He's won a Stanley Cup, he's a guy that plays 31 minutes a game, he can quarterback your power play and he's been a warrior in the playoffs. If we can't get him signed (by the deadline), do we continue to hold onto him to try to get a deal done?"

Decision time is beginning to loom for a number of GMs.


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