I am sure we all wish Mats Sundin all the best with his forthcoming nuptials. But he will have people wondering what he is going to do until he either retires or announces he is coming back. Here's a fan's take on it.
First of all, if he comes back, he has to come back for a whole season. Wherever he lands, it just isn't feasible to do the half-season thing again.
But was it really that bad?
Sure, when he was getting up to speed, Mats looked bad the first ten games he was back, but after that you could see the way he affected the team. It isn't a coincidence that the Canucks had a record losing streak and a fantastic second half. Most of the former was when Mats was struggling, and once he got going, his influence helped greatly with the latter.
The Canucks had two good lines, and even though you could see Mats was still a little slow (some respected Leaf fans have always told me speed never was his main attribute), he created matchup problems for other teams, took heat off the Sedins and forced opposing teams to use at least one of their big defensemen to check him. He was still great in the circle and talented behind the net.
This Canuck fan thought the Mats Experiment was a limited success. It would be impossible for anyone to live up to the hype around him after he made his decision to play.
Twenty-eight points in 41 games was good enough. Eight playoff points in eight playoff games was even better.
Now, I want everyone to remember that when Mats was interviewed after his last game, he always said things like, " I loved being a Vancouver Canuck. While I am not sure if this is my last game, or if I am coming back, if I do, it will be with the Vancouver Canucks."
Yet on rumour sites like Hockeybuzz, the "Ek" says it is the Wings, Rangers, Ducks, and Flames he might head back to. But three out of four of these teams are already in a worse position cap-wise than the Canucks. Talk to any Leaf fan about Mats and they'll tell you he's staying with the Leafs. Because who would want to be a Canuck if you could be a Leaf?
I think if he gives any team that discount it will be the one that he played for last year. Until I hear the man say something otherwise to make me rethink it, he comes back to the Canucks. One year at about two or three million dollars should be fine. I would welcome him back.
If he comes back. Maybe having millions and being newly-married are big enough reasons to retire.
In the coming weeks I will be writing at another site as well. Four times a week at Fanhuddle.com.
I look forward to checking in and contributing here from time to time as well. Think of it not as goodbye, just that we don't see each other so much since I got a second job!