New York Rangers and Mats Sundin Talking Contract

Ryan McFaddenCorrespondent IJune 23, 2008

The New York Rangers are one of the few teams who have been given permission by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher to start contract talks with free-agent-to-be Mats Sundin.

The Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens are believed to be Sundin's top two choices if he decides to leave the Toronto Maple Leafs after twelve Hall of Fame seasons. The Detroit Red Wings are also believed to be interested in making a move for Sundin, but have yet to contact the Maple Leafs about speaking with him before July 1.

As wonderful a player as he is, a Sundin signing would be a step back in the Rangers progress as an organization. The New York Rangers are no longer a retirement home for the league's aging stars. Not only do the Rangers not have an opening for Sundin, they have better options within the organization.

Last offseason they signed Scott Gomez and Chris Drury. They also have a rising star in a young Brandon Dubinsky, and a Selke award-worthy Blair Betts. There is no need to overpay for an unneeded center.

The Rangers should be pursuing a defenseman who can solve their woes on the power play, and a high scoring winger to play alongside Scott Gomez—not going after an old NHL star who is a few years past his prime.