Sundin nixed a juicy Habs trade at the deadline


    Toronto Sun (Steve Simmons):

    Mats Sundin, a Montreal Canadien?

    Had Bob Gainey and Cliff Fletcher had their way at the trade deadline, Sundin would now be a member, healthy or not, of Les Glorieux.
    The deal was in Sundin’s hands: All he had to do was give his blessing to being dealt, which he did not.

    The agreed-to trade would have sent speedy winger Christopher Higgins to the Leafs, along with Montreal’s first, second and third-round draft picks, in exchange for the captain.

    It was the second of two deals Fletcher had all but completed that got nixed by no-trade arrangements in players’ contracts.

    The first had Tomas Kaberle going to Philadelphia — this was one was written up at the league office and awaiting appropal — in exchange for Jeff Carter and the Flyers’ first round pick.

    In other words, the Leafs might have had three first- round picks, two young players of merit, the draft picks acquired in deals for Hal Gill, Chad Kilger and Wade Belak, all to go forward with. It would have been an excellent way for the incoming general manager to begin the rebuilding process.