New Leafs general manager Brian Burke said Saturday that he spoke with Sundin recently and came away thinking that the former Toronto captain wanted to join a Stanley Cup contender.
"I don't think we fit the profile he is looking for," Burke said after officially joining the Leafs organization.
Sundin has spent the past few weeks working out in Los Angeles and has yet to commit to a return to the NHL. Several teams are believed to be interested in his services.
The 37-year-old native of Sweden spent the past 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs. He is an unrestricted free agent and has been pondering retirement since the end of last season.
Burke went through a similar situation while working as the GM of the Anaheim Ducks when Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer both signed midway through last season. He doesn't mind players taking time to decide whether they want to keep playing.
"There has been a lot of criticism of Mats Sundin for not making up his mind," Burke said. "Having been through this situation before, I do not agree with it. I'd rather have a guy who wants to make sure in his own mind of what he is doing, as opposed to a guy who plays [halfway] just to collect a pay check."