So who deserves more attention right now? Brett Favre or Mats Sundin? It is apparent that the spotlight of all sports combined, Favre is the front and center character that everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for. Does Sundin deserve to be considered for the same kind of attention on waiting for his decision?
The answer is an emphatic no.
Many analysts this past season seemed to build up the hype around Sundin. There were such statements regarding him as being in the best shape of his life. That he appears to be a younger veteran, and deceivingly younger than being of the actual age of 37. In the accomplishments category, what has he really done?
- Second longest serving captain (No. 1 is Joe Sakic)
- Scored at least 70 points every year aside from the shortened lockout season and his first year
- Led the Leafs in points in every year he has been with the team except 2002-'03 (Alex Mogilny topped him by seven pts.)
- First Swedish player to score 500 goals
- Holds the Leafs' franchise records for goals with 420 and points as a Leaf with 984
- Currently tied with Jaromir Jagr for the NHL record for regular season overtime goals with 15
I think people should be MORE intrigued by Sundin and his upcoming decision. His 13 year tenure with the Maple Leafs should be heralded as a true symbol of dedication and devotion to a player's team.
Players like Sundin are very rare. It was thought that it would come down to Sundin or fellow Swede, Daniel Alfredsson, in the race to become the first European captain to win the Stanley Cup (Nik Lidstrom, of course, recently accomplished that feat).
Looking at his impact on the Maple Leafs comes in the numbers he has posted. The history of the Leafs is, of course, dated back to the origins of the National Hockey League, and which player sits atop the statistics throughout time for the Toronto Maple Leafs? The one and only Mats Sundin.
These mentions should be considered when you think about what kind of decision he is making. If he was wise, and wanted to bow out gracefully or continue to play hockey, he really has only two decisions: retire or play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Take a pay-cut Mats, and hold your head up high. You have accomplished a great many things, but still have plenty of time to obtain the highest honor in winning the Stanley Cup. Look to Chris Chelios for that inspiration if needed when considering age.