At least 15 National Hockey League teams are poised to make free-agent offers to Mats Sundin on Tuesday afternoon.
But what no one knows -- maybe not even Sundin -- is whether he will entertain any of them and continue to play in the NHL.
While it's in the best interests of his agent, J.P. Barry, to keep Sundin playing and it's in the best interests of the Maple Leafs to have him stay in Toronto or sign in Montreal, the truth is, this is all on Sundin's calendar.
A similar story, equally intriguing but less publicized, is playing out with Sundin's former teammate, Joe Sakic. Sakic has yet to inform the Colorado Avalanche of his intentions to play next season and his contract expires in two days.
Perhaps the same teams interested in Sundin would be interested in having a year or two of Sakic.
The big change over recent years is the growth of the salary cap to $56.7 million US.
Now, just about everybody who wants to spend, has enough cap room for one more large money player.
The question now is: Do either Sundin or Sakic care enough to cash in on one last contract?
THIS AND THAT
Another question worth asking: Didn't Richard Peddie oversee every one of these strangling John Ferguson no-trade, no-movement contracts? Is this man ever accountable for anything? ... Bryan McCabe signed his contract in good faith with the Leafs. If he chooses not to accept a trade, which is his right -- even when it's apparent he's no longer wanted -- the Leafs must act appropriately and honour the contract ... I've thought for a long time that Glenn Healy would have been the perfect assistant GM for the Leafs. Apparently, the players' association thought the same thing. Healy is now second in command to NHLPA boss Paul Kelly ... Isn't it a little bit strange that, after all the fighting on behalf of the controversial Rick Tocchet, he leaves the Phoenix Coyotes to sign on as an assistant in Tampa? ... If I'm Jim Balsillie, I would either lie under oath or declare bankruptcy: How else do you get an NHL team these days? ... Thirty teams have now passed on Todd Bertuzzi. What will be encouraging and appropriate is if the same 30 pass on him in free agency ... Who better to fit the West Coast lifestyle than the laid-back, uninspired, unambitious Kyle Wellwood? Like, wow, man, he is now a Canuck.
HEAR AND THERE
So Devon White was asked a simple question on TSN's Off The Record: "Robbie Alomar, Hall of Famer or not?" White's strange and uncomfortable answer: "Next question." ... As if his credibility isn't already in question, J.P. Ricciardi's response regarding the Adam Dunn apology is just plain dubious. He said he got a call from Dunn from the 519 area code. That's western Ontario. How did the Jays' general manager not know that? ... Last summer, Bryan Colangelo was excited about building the Raptors around three young stars -- Chris Bosh, T.J. Ford and Andrea Bargnani. Now, Ford is gone, Bargnani's development is in doubt and Colangelo is hitching his wagon to the one-time star, Jermaine O'Neal, who has played 206 NBA games but missed 122 over the past four seasons ... A source close to the Indiana Pacers does say that getting O'Neal out of that historically crazy environment may be the best medicine for revitalizing his career.
SCENE AND HEARD
Nashville draft pick Colin Wilson wowed scouts with his physical conditioning at the NHL combine, which reminded me of a story Brett Hull once told about Wilson's father: "I spent a year in the minors because I couldn't do enough sit-ups," Hull said. "Carey Wilson, who was a friend of mine, could do 400 sit-ups. He made the team. I didn't." Hull went on to score 741 NHL goals. Wilson had 169 .... Small world: In the brief instance Gary Etcheverry was head coach of the Argos, he hired Ken Miller for his staff. Now that Miller has inherited the head coaching job with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, he has returned the favour and hired Etcheverry to help coach his defence ... How's this for togetherness? The Bulgarian weightlifting team has withdrawn from the Beijing Olympics after 11 of its athletes tested positive for the same drug earlier this month ... So, before Friday afternoon's game against the Yankees, new Mets manager Jerry Manuel is asked whether Carlos Delgado was done. And Manuel doesn't give Delgado much of an endorsement. So all Delgado does is go out and knock in nine runners ... I'd love to see C.C. Sabathia pitch one day and hit the other four days for the Cleveland Indians. He has that kind of power
AND ANOTHER THING
A hockey oxymoron: Jason Spezza on the NHL's competition committee ... Jay Feaster is general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in name only. Nice guy Jay will be fired any minute now by the club's new ownership ... Mike Vanderjagt has all kinds of conspiratorial theories as to why he no longer is kicking in the National Football League. But the simple answer may be talent. The guy looked cooked in his first start with the Argos on Friday night ... Just wondering: Why isn't Calgary legend Russ Parker or our own Bob Elliott in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame? ... Of course, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell comes out and says the Buffalo Bills aren't going anywhere. He can continue to say that so long as 89-year-old owner Ralph Wilson is alive ... This should happen only to nice guys: Cito Gaston's old pal, Mike Mussina, is doing great things with the New York Yankees. Mussina, still miserable at age 39, is 10-5 and keeping the Yankees alive ... The amazing Sundin stat: In 13 years with the Leafs, he has missed just 50 regular-season games. Who has been more durable? ... The Nets have traded away Richard Jefferson and wouldn't mind finding a new home for Vince Carter. The reason? They want to clear salary to take a run at LeBron James in 2010 when the team is moving to Brooklyn ... And hey, whatever become of Robert Drummond?
SIMMONS HAS MORE TO SAY ON ...
SO LONG, TUCKER
Darcy Tucker grew up so much in Toronto that there was a time when he became the most popular Leaf in town. He was appreciated for his grit, how big he played despite his small size and how often he scored, mostly on the power play. He will be fondly remembered for all he contributed.
Rich Stubler is playing a potentially divisive game if he thinks he can successfully run the Argos offence by rotating two quarterbacks. Pulling Kerry Joseph (right) the CFL's most outstanding player, in the first regular-season game, is a rookie mistake by a rookie coach. Joseph should start, Michael Bishop should back up. Case should be closed for now.
LIFE OF BRIAN
You have to love Brian Scalabrine's take on not stepping on the court for the Boston Celtics in the NBA final. "In five years, you guys are going to forget," Scalabrine said. "In 10 years, I'll still be a champion. In 20 years, I'll tell my kids I probably started and in 30 years I'll probably tell them I got the MVP."