Like millions of hockey fans who want to know what Mats Sundin is going to do, his own family has been putting pressure on the 37-year-old former Maple Leafs captain to make up his mind.
No more than his parents, who would regularly get up in the middle of the night in Sweden to watch their son perform in the National Hockey League.
“They all want me to play more,” Sundin laughingly told Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos in an exclusive interview at Sundin’s Baltic Sea cottage north of Stockholm. “That’s why I can’t stay (in Sweden) too long. I have to go make my own decision … There is pressure from everywhere.”
The full interview will be shown on Sportsnet’s Hockeycentral Season Preview on Sunday, Sept. 29 (9 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. MT / 8 p.m. PT).
Looking relaxed and cracking jokes, Sundin still couldn’t commit to what his future might hold, though he did address his participation at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Sundin was captain of the Swedish team that captured the gold medal at the Turin Olympics in 2006.
“It’s a long shot for me playing in Vancouver Olympics,” he said. “I think it’s not very likely.”
As for the NHL, Sundin said while he’s flattered at offers such as Vancouver’s two-year, $20 million deal, he would rather play on one-year deals, saying a similar deal his final season in Toronto was more motivating than any long-term contract.
“I wanted to play year by year; it gave me more motivation going into last season it helped me perform last year knowing I had a one-year deal,” said Sundin, who once again led the Leafs in scoring, notching 32 goals and 78 points. “If I’m gong to play this year — which I don’t know if I am — it would be one year at a time.”