Mats Sundin: Why Leafs' Fans Don't Want Him Back

josh millarSenior Analyst IJuly 23, 2008

This just in: The Toronto Maple Leafs are a bad hockey team

 

What? They haven’t made the playoffs in four seasons? So I'm NOT breaking a story? Darn!

 

They have a lot of work to do to get better and the first step should be to not allow Mats Sundin to return to the team.

 

Whether he returns for one season or two or longer, at age 37 one thing is clear: The Leafs won't win with Mats Sundin.

 

With the coin Sundin is going to demand, upwards of 7-10 million per season, all he does is place the Leafs in proverbial handcuffs.

 

In a salary cap era, having Sundin on the books serves only to stunt the Maple Leafs' growth in the future. It prevents them from making possible trades or free agent signings. Sundin already hurt the Leafs by not making his decision prior to both this year's deadline and free agent signing periods.

 

As for the theory that the Leafs need Sundin back to sell something to their fans, well that’s a last desperate hope for all who love Mats. The majority of Leaf tickets holder are from the corporate world. They’ll draw anyway no matter how bad they are. Harold Ballard proved that in the 1970’s.

 

Sundin was a good Leaf, maybe even great considering he didn’t play with many other great players, but it's time for Mats and the Leafs to say goodbye if they want to say hello to a championship in the next decade.

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