Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Sundin Dilemna

Yes, I have decided to kick this Sundin issue to death until he makes up his mind...for now.
There are all different reasons out there why Sundin is going to or not going to sign in whatever location.
The two front-runners, according to most media outlets, are Vancouver and Montreal.

The argument FOR Sundin playing in Montreal is that the Habs are already a Stanley Cup contender and just need Sundin to put them over the top. The location is close to any home he may have in the Toronto area, blah blah blah, if he has one.
My argument AGAINST Sundin playing in Montreal is that I don't know what would possess him to play for a division rival of Toronto. Would you? Would you take the heckling every time the Habs came to Toronto to play? I am not so sure that Sundin would make that choice, especially after being the man in Toronto for all these years. Sometimes players of Sundin's magnitude sign in another Division or even Conference to distance themselves.
As much as Gainey has been wooing Mats, I don't think I can see him going to Montreal on morals and ethics alone. If that makes any sense.

Now we have major rumors swarming the net (including Pratt and Taylor on Team 1040 recently) that the Canucks are indeed close to signing Sundin. I won't believe that until I see it.
The arguments that keep resurfacing AGAINST Sundin signing here are that "Mats is too old to want to put up with Vancouver's crazy travel schedule." I find that argument debatable. That's a guess to assume something like that. But then again, I'm guessing and speculating myself right now.
Personally, I can see Sundin signing here on the basis that Vancouver is further from Toronto, unlike Montreal, if he were to jump to a new team.
Now, the question of Mats' motives comes into play. How much desire does he have to win the Stanley Cup? Would he shock most people and rejoin the rebuilding Leafs at this stage of his career? His desire would then be questioned. His integrity and loyalty would not. Remember what he said prior to last season's trade deadline: "I am a Torontonian."
You can't rule out him going back to the Leafs. It's just that, we're offering him a buttload more cash.
Maybe GZ Expat has a point. Sundin could very well sit out until Christmas or February and choose to offer his services to the team that is looking to be the closest thing to a Cup winner. If (a major if) the Leafs were in a playoff hunt come February, and Sundin was still sitting in the sidelines, you would have to think his loyalties would lie in Toronto and he would sign there. Who knows.
Like most people are pointing out: Sundin is a wealthy man, and he is newly married. Why is he going to rush back? Damien Cox of the Toronto Star has an article out today wondering if the "flame has all but burned out" for Sundin. Cox states:

So now that the July 1st furor has died down and Sundin appears no closer to committing to a new club, or even to returning to the Maple Leafs for another season, it's probably worth listening to what the man has said so far.
He's said he's not sure whether he wants to play any more.
That sounds like a hockey player with a lot of miles on his chassis for whom the fire, at least temporarily, has gone out.
Now either Cox is being a bitter Leafs fan, or he could just be speaking truth.
I tell you what. I am as guilty as the next pundit, and I think that Eklund and Howard Berger lured a 'Sundin-to-Vancouver' and 'Sundin-is-in-Vancouver' line and everyone bit on it. It may be about time that we accept that all this hype stemmed from an unreliable source and that we may be no further ahead with Sundin then we were say 2 weeks ago.
Make no mistake, Gillis is aggressively pursuing Mats. But he may not get him. If he doesn't, we aren't doomed. You know Gillis will pull off a serious trade for another Top 6 forward.

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6 Comments:

At July 12, 2008 at 5:22 p.m. , Anonymous GZ Expat said...

He'll sit and wait...and then, in February, when he looks at the standings and sees Vancouver battling for last place with Colorado and the Leafs in their regular spot at the ass end of the league...he'll probably wish he had signed with Frolunda or Farjestad.

I do not want a rental player...if he decides to play with the Canucks, great...decide now and get into training camp. But, if he's gonna hang around and wait...see ya. Use the money elsewhere.

 
At July 13, 2008 at 2:34 a.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Well that's where I think Gillis will realize that at some point and then make a trade to get another top 6 guy.
If Sundin makes no choices by later in August, Gillis WILL move on. He's not THAT stupid is he? I'm pretty sure he has a backup plan in place.
Yeah, a player has to be there at training camp for sure. Niedermayer and Selanne sitting out like pussies didn't really pan out for Anaheim last year....except for salary cap purposes.

 
At July 13, 2008 at 2:47 p.m. , Blogger Temujin said...

He'll be a Canuck before August 15th.

And if it doesn't come to pass, you can heckle me endlessly.

 
At July 13, 2008 at 3:12 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Eklund will sway the tide of these bullshit rumors, as today he said his sources have confirmed that a Mats deal will be done with the Canadiens by the end of this coming week. Now watch every fucking sports station jump all over it. All you'll hear this week is "Gillis losing Sundin sweeps and Mats may sign with Les Habitants."

 
At July 14, 2008 at 4:26 p.m. , Blogger Mike Santa Barbara said...

Every week you read " Going to Vancouver, done deal." Or "Going back to Toronto, done deal." Now it's "Going to Montreal, done deal." Holding some teams hostage, especially Montreal, they'll have to clear some room for him.

 
At July 14, 2008 at 6:26 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

Still can't see Mats in a Habs jersey though. God, I vomit at the thought.

 

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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.