Leafs rumors: More teams pursuing Sundin, Fletcher expected to take control
Toronto also may sign Alfredson-like star for 2008-09
From the latest rumors, the Mats Sundin sweepstakes appear to be getting hotter, as there are now a number of teams interested in the Maple Leaf captain.
Al Strachan reports that Vancouver is very interested in Sundin’s services, but Leafs GM John Ferguson Jr. is asking for an “astronomical” return, including Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler.
Moreover, Scotty Morrison says that the Canucks are the front runners presently, but grumpy Dave Nonis doesn’t want to pay an exorbitant price for a rental player.
Morrison also says that the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames are also pursuing Sundin, and the Flames were recently scouting Leaf games.
Speaking of the Flames, FTP cites an article from the NY Post that Calgary would make Alex Tanguay available as part of a package going to Toronto. Like Sundin, Tanguay has a no trade clause in his contract. Meanwhile, Lance Hornby of The Sun reports that C Matthew Lombardi or LW Dustin Boyd are other interesting name that could be involved in a deal.
And as already reported on HTR, the Philadelphia Flyers might also be interested in Sundin as a “Plan B” if they don’t sign Peter Forsberg. The Flyers may be willing to dangle C Jeff Carter and a No. 1 pick.
Meanwhile, another interesting rumor has popped up. The Leafs appear to be hot to sign unrestricted Swedish free agent Fabian Brunnstrom for the 2008-09 season. The Canucks and Red Wings are also said to be interested in signing the talented 22-year-old left-shot forward.
Pierre LeBrun of the Canadian Press compares Brunnstrom to Daniel Alfredsson, a ringing endorsement to say the least.
Brunnstrom is currently playing for Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League where he has 29 points in 35 games.
LeBrun says that the Leafs in particular have wooed Brunnstrom heavily, sending an organizational representative to Sweden to literally wine and dine him and meet his family, and promote life as a Leaf by way of DVD.
Lastly, on the GM front, both Lancy Hornby and Howard Berger report that Sunday’s game against New Jersey could have been John Ferguson Jr’s last as GM of the Leafs. Former GM Cliff Fletcher is due back from Mexico later this week, at which time JFJ could be canned finally. It is expected that Cliff Fletcher will assume control of the team for the remainder of the season.