Heard On Episode 3.39 of AFITC
Mats Sundin spent thirteen fantastic seasons in Toronto; ten of those as captain. During that time he reached countless personal milestones and set new marks for franchise records in goals and points.
He has spent countless hours on humanitarian projects benefiting numerous charities around Toronto and handled himself always with dignity. However, despite all of his work and contributions to the Maple Leafs and the city of Toronto, Mats Sundin’s legacy will be determined by only one decision: the next one he makes.
Come back next season to the Maple Leafs, retire, or come back next season to play elsewhere. Those are the three options facing Sundin in the summer of 2008 and only one of those options will truly preserve his legacy in the hearts of Maple Leaf fans.
After all of those aforementioned accomplishments, and years of dedication and loyalty, you would think that Sundin has earned the right to do what he feels is best for him. But if he indeed cares about the way he is remembered in Toronto, unfortunately that just not the way it works in this city.
Should Sundin decide to retire, fans will wonder why he didn’t agree to be traded to take one last run at a Stanley Cup while yielding a strong crop of young talent with which the Maple Leafs could build around.
Should Sundin decide to return next season with a team other than the Maple Leafs, fans will angrily wonder why Sundin did not agree to a trade at the trade deadline but suddenly decides to move on when it doesn’t benefit the Maple Leafs at all.
For Sundin, returning to the Maple Leafs next season is the only decision that will prevent him from being blackballed in the city that he has come to love. A harsh but true reality for still as of right now, the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But hey, all that was just rigamarole.