Agent: Sundin expected to decide between Rangers, Canucks in next week

Updated: December 16, 2008, 1:17 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

Mats Sundin has narrowed his short list to two teams.

Sundin
Sundin

"Mats has had enough opportunity now to obviously look at all the different proposals and he's focused on Vancouver and New York," Sundin's agent J.P. Barry told ESPN.com on Monday. "I expect him to make a decision in the next week so that he can join one of those teams after Christmas."

Sundin met with Rangers GM Glen Sather as well as head coach Tom Renney and team executive Mike Barnett (his former agent) Saturday night in New York. Barry was scheduled to speak with Sather either later Monday evening or Tuesday to further discuss contract parameters. Barry is also scheduled to meet again with Canucks GM Mike Gillis on Tuesday in Vancouver.

What is clear is that Sundin would earn much less in New York. The Rangers don't have much room under the salary cap and at best, depending on roster moves, could probably offer him around $5 million, pro-rated, on a one-year deal and perhaps even less. The Canucks haven't budged from their $10-million a year offer.

Once the Rangers make perfectly clear to the Sundin camp exactly how much they can offer, the 37-year-old free agent center will make a decision. NHL rosters are frozen as of midnight Friday so Sundin, regardless of his decision, isn't expected to officially join the Canucks or Rangers until Dec. 28 after the freeze.

The Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers had also shown serious interest.

Both Hawks GM Dale Tallon and Canadiens GM Bob Gainey flew to Los Angeles over the last month to meet personally with Sundin while Flyers GM Paul Holmgren made a pitch to the Sundin camp last Thursday. But in the end, Sundin has decided it's down to Vancouver and New York.

Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.

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