Sportsnet.ca –- The New York Rangers were granted permission by Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher to talk to free-agent-to-be Mats Sundin before the Montreal Canadiens were last week, Sportsnet has learned.
Sources say Fletcher granted the New York Rangers permission to talk to Sundin even before the Canadiens got it in an attempt to trade the Maple Leafs captain for an asset prior to him becoming an unrestricted free agent July 1.
The Detroit Red Wings would also love to add Sundin to their lineup but did not ask the Leafs for permission to make contact before July 1.
If Sundin makes the decision to cut ties with the Leafs and resume his NHL career with another team, New York and Montreal are believed to be his top two destinations of choice.
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