Why Mats Sundin Won't Sign with the Habs or the Canucks

Peter GuoContributor IJuly 25, 2008

Where will Sundin wind up?

At this point it is pretty obvious that the Leafs captain will return to NHL for one (if not a few) more season(s). Announcing his retirement in the summer time, in Sweden, would be like breaking up with your boyfriend/girlfriend with a text or a facebook message—it is simply  doesn’t work that way. 

A respected player like Sundin should want to end his career in some glorious way—even if it isn’t winning the Cup with the Leafs. As a gentleman—which Sundin is—he would at least say good bye to the Leaf fans.

Sundin has always wanted to retire in a Leafs jersey, but right now, he is a free agent. If you are a star hockey player like Sundin, would you choose to end your career in such a way?

Now that Sundin’s return to NHL is expected, where will he be—Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, or possibly even New York? Given a few clues revealed by Mats, it is obvious that he will be wearing a Leaf jersey when NHL starts in October.

I’ve read a lot of fans’ reasoning as to why Mats should sign with Habs or the Canucks or retire. But these are based on our opinions. If we take a look at some facts, we can be almost certain that Sundin will not play for the Canucks or the Canadiens.

Not the Canucks

The Canucks offered Sundin a huge contract of $20 million on July 1. And, perhaps as a way of luring him to Vancouver, Cancuks signed Sundin’s linemate Wellwood. Even with players trying to persuade Sundin to sign with the Canucks, and Gillis’ “Vancouver 2010” pitch, Sundin was not induced to make a decision.

If Sundin cared about the money, he would have signed with Vancouver already, but he didn’t. And the Gillis’ Olympic Theory is bogus—will Sundin still be playing world-class hockey in 2010? And when it comes down to CAN vs SWE, Canadians will still cheer for team Canada.

To start and to adapt a new life in Vancouver would be difficult, especially hard in the short term. Sundin would not play for such a team at this stage of his career.

Not the Canadiens

So why Sundin won’t sign with the Habs? Well, let’s look at why he should.

Of the four teams mentioned, people say that only the Habs are a Cup contender—and unfortunately, this is true.

The Canadiens have proven themselves—coming out of nowhere to clinch the first seed in the East, abd netting 261 goals along the way. We all know Mats wants to win a Cup, no doubt about that.

But does he REALLY want to win a Cup with a team other than the Leafs?

Let’s take a look back to February 2008, before the trade deadline. Sundin HAD the opportunity to a Cup, with Detroit, who had expressed interest in him. Sundin did not waive his no-trade clause, because:

  1. he does not believe in rental players.
  2. he wants to retire with the Leafs.

After 17 seasons in the NHL, 13 with the Leafs, playing for a different team at the end of his career does not fit Sundin's logic. Playing for any other team than the Leafs would be on the same scale as being a “rental player”.


Why would he sign with Toronto? Well, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first article you read. There’s no point of repeating what is being said all along.

 Expect Sundin to sign with the blue and white Toronto Maple Leafs when the time comes. May it be one year, two years—let’s let Mats decide.