Mats Sundin has given everything he’s had to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s captained the team the last 10 years and never complained once about having a legitimate line-mate to play with.
However, I am starting to hear news that sounds a bit contradictory to me.
As we all know by now, Sundin’s negotiating rights have been dealt to Montreal. I think most of us expected Sundin to have signed with the Habs by this point.
It looks like he’s going to weigh out his options and test the free agent market. But even further than that, it’s been noted that he’s going to take his time and may wait until after the season has begun to decide where he wants to play.
If this does happen, it seems a bit hypocritical, don’t you think? The Leafs tried to deal him away at the trade deadline, but he wouldn’t move his no-trade clause because he wanted to join a contender at the beginning of training camp and play out the whole season with that team.
If he joins a contending team by the middle of the season, say in November, how different is that from joining a team in February? That just wouldn’t make sense to me, and he’s pretty much had six months to think about his future.
Sundin doesn’t owe anything to the Leafs. He’s been paid a handsome amount of money by the club over the years and he’s contributed greatly to the club.
However, a little common courtesy would have been nice. If he wants to go to a contender, he should let the Leafs know his intentions so that the clubs are able to make plans accordingly. If he wants to stay and be part of the rebuilding process, then he should re-sign with the team.
If he wants to retire, then he should retire.
It just seems like his lack of communication is killing the Leafs' rebuilding plan at this point. I love the transactions that Cliff Fletcher has made up until this point. His promise last March that the Leafs would be a completely different team heading into training camp looks like it’s coming to fruition.
He’s bought out Tucker and placed Wellwood and Raycroft on waivers. It looks as though he’s going to tell McCabe to stay at home and force his hand at being dealt to another club. And the drafting of Luke Schenn as their number five pick overall looks to be spearheading the beginning of the rebuilding phase for Toronto.
He may be in his 70s, but he still knows what he’s doing as GM.