Friday, September 05, 2008

Sundin has met with the Leafs and will meet with Montreal before Monday **UPDATE**

From TSN:

Sources tell TSN Mats Sundin and his representatives JP Barry and Claes Elefalk met with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher Friday morning. Joe Nieuwendyk, recently hired as Fletcher's assistant was also involved in the discussions.

Sources say Fletcher outlined his plan for the team this season and assured Sundin that Toronto will keep the door open for the 37-year-old captain in the event he decides to resume his career.

"It was a very relaxed meeting," said Barry on AM640 Radio in Toronto. "It was a chance to reconnect since Mats was in town and talk about the changes on the Maple Leafs and make sure Mats was aware of everything that was going on with the team."

Sources say Sundin is also expected to meet, or speak with the Montreal Canadiens before returning to Europe on Monday.

"Whatever happens to me, whether I'm not going to play tomorrow or whatever, I know Toronto's always the team in my heart," Sundin said Thursday. "When I retire, whenever that happens, that's not going to change."
So, if Fletcher's Leafs have any success this season (and that's a stretch) and are in the hunt for a playoff spot, you can bet Sundin will return to Toronto. But that is unlikely. The fact that he is meeting with the Canadiens' brass before Monday may be a matter of convenience because Montreal isn't that far away.
I just wonder:
-is Mike Gillis anywhere near Toronto? He is going to be patient and leave the door open for Sundin
-is this TSN not mentioning or having sources knowing/telling them that Sundin is/has met with Gillis or any other interested teams' GM's in the time he spends here?
-I'm sure the Bruins were the team in Ray Bourque's heart when he was dealt to the Avalanche for a chance to win a Cup in Colorado.

Who knows for sure. There's no point in taking that report literally that Sundin will only play for Montreal of Toronto or retire.

Monday, he'll return to Sweden and do nothing but run, work out, fish, play poker and golf. Until there is word out of Sweden that he has begun preparation skating, then there's no point in getting any hopes up at this point.

**UPDATE** Sundin has had the talks with Leafs brass and has stated that
"It was a nice meeting but what was said wasn't anything that hasn't been said before."
He will no doubt say the same thing after he meets with Montreal and then go back home to ponder his future.

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At September 5, 2008 at 4:05 p.m. , Blogger KevinV said...

Sean, don't you think Gillis is humiliating himself a little bit by keeping the offer out there? Sundin has already characterized the offer as something he would do only if he was concerned soley with money, which implies that there would be no other reason to want to play with this Vancouver crew.

It's embarrassing and I think it's reinforcing the Canucks' unfortunately reputation as wanna-bes.

If I were Gillis I'd hold a press conference, wish him luck and politely make it clear that so far as Vancouver is concerned he can fuck right off.

At September 5, 2008 at 5:26 p.m. , Blogger Sean Zandberg said...

I think it depends on your point of view. Some people think the Canucks are going to stink this year if they go into the season with their current lineup. So they blame Gillis for banking on Sundin for so long.
Myself, I like the team that is already in place. Either Gillis adds another top 6 somewhere in the season or a young player gets a chance.
If Gillis knew for sure or even "most likely" that Sundin wasn't coming here he would have moved on already. He's not stupid. I actually think he's done the right things this summer, although a bit risky.
At the same time, Vancouver is a "wannabe city" anyways because Demitra is the highest profile free agent to sign here since Messier. Players don't want to come here. That creates the reputation in itself. I think Gillis has the balls and passion to change that.
To me it's all positive.
1. The current team stays in a playoff race all year and we nab a high-quality rental at the deadline or earlier (because the player wouldn't have to sign here long-term)
2. Most of the teams in pursuit of Sundin will back out and move on and there is still an outside chance that Sundin signs here after Xmas.
3. Sundin saying that he would have played here if all he was concerned about money means nothing, because dollars are not what's helping him make up his mind. He just threw that out there because everbody kept asking him about Gillis' huge offer. Sundin's answer was just another way of saying he had not considered any teams yet because he had to make up his mind of IF he wants to play first.

There's no use in throwing in the towel yet. We don't know completely what's going through Gillis' mind.
Either way, I think we have a better team on paper this season and we're fucking rich! Last year the team stunk it up down the stretch and we had NO money. I'd rather be in the position that we are right now.


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.