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Mats Sundin: Why so quiet this summer?

Kevin van SteendelaarAnalyst IJuly 26, 2009

Remember the summer of 2008?

All the hockey world was hearing was Mats Sundin this, Mats Sundin that.

Well after the Montreal Canadiens gained the rights to talk to Sundin before the July 1 free agent deadline (in an unofficial exchange for Mikhail Grabovski), rumors flew out of the woodwork.

First Montreal, then the New York Rangers, and then the Vancouver Canucks (who reportedly offered a two-year $20 million deal ) were front runners for the then 37-year old center.

The only Sundin signing news that arrived, over the summer, was the fact that he had signed on with PokerStars.

There was talk that Sundin would make his decision by August 1, which turned out to be a “soft deadline” according to agent J.P. Barry.

In a few weeks, later this summer, in a few weeks, later this summer as all that was heard from that point on.

Canadiens' GM Bob Gainey clearly dropped out of any further talks and picked up Robert Lang to fill the void.

Sundin did sign with the Canucks, joining them for the second half of the season at $5.36 million.

I questioned whether or not he was worth it to the Canucks in a prior piece I wrote.

Clearly Canucks GM Mike Gillis felt he wasn’t.

After seeing Sundin battle injuries through the playoffs, he made his focus on successfully signing the Sedin twins to new contracts.

In a story on the Swedish newspaper Expressen’s website, back in June, Sundin did clarify that he would not participate in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

2006-02-25, Torino Esposizioni,Torino,ITALY Olympic Winter Games,  Icehockey FIN VS SWE GOLD MEDAL GAME SWEDEN HAS WON THE OLYMPIC GOLDMEDAL   BY EUROPHOTO/JANI RAJAMAKI  Sundin won an Olympic Gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Games

“There will be no Olympics in Vancouver for me next year,” Sundin said.

“I will not change my mind, I think it’s time that the next generation takes over. We have many good players.”

When asked by Expressen on the possibility of returning to the NHL:

“Absolutely,” he said 

“I will think about my future over the next couple of weeks. I will make a decision in the summer.”

Sundin reportedly has stated that he would make a decision on returning at the end of July as he will be getting married in August and would prefer not to have that distraction waning during that special moment in his life.

Many analysts and media types, clearly did not want to chase the bone that Sundin and Barry fed them all last summer.

Many of them feel that Sundin will retire.

I had the chance to catch, and interview, Rogers Sportsnet’s  Nick Kypreos earlier this month at the Gretzky Golf Classic.

Kypreos flew to Sweden last summer for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Sundin. 

I asked Kypreos if Mats Sundin would return to which he emphatically answered with one word, “No.”

In the event that Sundin does call it quits, he clearly has the offensive numbers to join the Avalanches’ Joe Sakic as a member of the 2012 class of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

That or he may opt for one last kick of the can for a shot to win the one trophy that has eluded him since joining the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques, the Stanley Cup.

Time will tell.

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