TORONTO – Brian Burke doesn’t expect to see Mats Sundin in a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater this season.
The team’s new president and general manager spoke with Sundin recently and came away from that meeting thinking that the Swede was hoping to join a contender.
“I don’t think we fit the profile he is looking for,” Burke said Saturday after officially joining the Leafs organization.
Sundin has spent the past few weeks working out in Los Angeles and has yet to commit to a return to the NHL. Several teams are believed to be interested in his services.
The 37-year-old spent the past 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs. He’s an unrestricted free agent and has been pondering retirement since the end of last year.
Burke went through a similar situation while working as the GM in Anaheim when Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer both signed midway through last season. He doesn’t mind players taking time to decide whether they want to keep playing.
“There has been a lot of criticism of Mats Sundin for not making up his mind,” said Burke. “Having been through this situation before, I do not agree with it. I’d rather have a guy who wants to make sure in his own mind of what he is doing, as opposed to a guy who plays half-assed just to collect a paycheque.
“It’s not about the money. He (didn’t sign) a $10 million per year offer (from Vancouver). He’s got $2 less than God.”