Mats Sundin has left the door open to playing somewhere other than with the Maple Leafs next season.
“My dream and the best scenario would be if I ended my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf. That hasn’t changed. But I’m not going to say that I’m not going to play anywhere else either because I’m not really in control of that,” Sundin said after after collecting the Mark Messier Leadership Award yesterday in Pittsburgh.
“It feels like my decision is going to come after there’s going to be some other stuff going on with the Toronto Maple Leafs and I’ll see what happens there. I’ll have to make my decision after that.
“I do think I have a lot of different options I can explore.”
It was typical Sundin, a statement but with qualifiers and vagaries and, always, layered with an unwavering loyalty to the Leafs.
But Sundin seemed more willing then ever yesterday to publicly examine the reality of the Leafs’ situation, and the possibility of moving on, after he picked up the Messier award at a luncheon.
He said he wants to have a firm understanding of what is going on with the Leafs’ front office before he signs, if he signs, in Toronto.
“I’d like to know what’s going to happen in the general manager position, whether Cliff (Fletcher) is going to be in charge this year or is there a new guy going to be coming in. I do think that’s going to be important,” he said.
“Obviously, what’s going to happen in Toronto is going to be very interesting. And it’s going to affect my decision in the future.”