Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shoalts: Leafs could get something in return for Sundin

There's an interesting theory about Mats Sundin making the rounds of hockey circles.

It would see Sundin leave the Toronto Maple Leafs but still allow the Leafs to save face by getting something as compensation for losing their best player. J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, Sundin's agent, is said to be mightily intrigued by this idea.

Here's how it works: Before Sundin becomes a free agent on July 1, Leafs interim general manager Cliff Fletcher gives him and Barry permission to talk to any team in the NHL about a contract for next season. If they strike an agreement with anyone, they go back to Fletcher and tell him.

Then Fletcher goes to that team and works out a trade for Sundin's rights before July 1. The Leafs then save face and get something for their best player, maybe even a first-round draft pick, and Sundin gets to leave for the team of his choice.

When this was run by Fletcher on Saturday night, he said by e-mail that “anything is possible.” It would be in the Leafs' best interest to go along if that is what Sundin and Barry want, since it looks like there is little chance Sundin will sign again with the Leafs.

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