Mats Sundin May Make Me Eat My Words Afterall
I've written articles about it. I've made numerous radio broadcasts about it. Time and time again I have stated how much I do not want Mats Sundin to play for the New York Rangers.
It's not because I don't like him, but because I just don't want to add that high-priced, aging forward. The Rangers have done this many times over the years, and most of those moves have resulted in failure.
As I drank some coffee this morning and read the New York Post as I always do, there was yet again another article about Sundin and his dire need to want to finish his career on Broadway.
At first I wasn't even going to look into it, just read it and move on. But the article actually made some very strong points.
The Vancouver Canucks offered Sundin a two-year deal worth $20 million and the Maple Leafs, the team with which Sundin set the career franchise point record this season, have offered him a reported one-year deal worth $7 million.
Yet Sundin has declined the Canucks' huge amount (even though the offer is still on the table in case he changes his mind) and he has now openly said he will not play for the Montreal Canadiens. To go even further, it looks like he won't finish his career with the Leafs either.
So that leaves two teams. The New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. Sundin is desperately wanting to join the Rangers while Flyers' GM Paul Holmgren is desperately chasing the Swedish superstar.
Sundin knows he will have to take a huge pay cut to play in New York as the team has only a little more than $2 million in cap space available. There's even a rumor coming out of Sweden (and, dare I say, Hockeybuzz) that Sundin would take only $2 million per season to play for the Rangers, which is something I find hard to believe.
But, if that's not true, a more realistic figure would be a $5 million offer from Glen Sather.
Either way you look at it, Sundin will be taking a huge pay cut to play for the Rangers. And if he wants to play so badly that he's willing to lose $8 million a season by playing here rather than Vancouver, then I will welcome him with open arms for a one-year deal.
Sundin is a guarantee to score 25 to 35 goals and add 70 to 80 points, even at 37 years old. For that I would eat my words, and that's something I don't normally do.
There is only one problem.
I really do not see him taking a $2 million deal. An offer of $5 million seems more realistic. If that is the case, then someone has to be traded. The Rangers do not have an expendable forward making a ton of money, and that means a defenseman would have to be dealt.
The most likely of those is Michal Rozsival.
Even though he just signed a deal for four years worth $20 million, Rozsival could have perhaps gotten more had he tested the market, showing his trade value. But if Sather was to deal Rozsival to make room, that would leave the Rangers without a lot of NHL experience on the blue line.
If that's the case, the Rangers will either have to hope to obtain cheap experience in the Rozsival trade, or rush up defensive prospect Bobby Sanguinetti, as he is making a rapid transformation in the minors.
I would rather not go that way, but right now it looks like the only option. Before Sundin, the offense was questionable while the defense was a lock to be very good this season. But if Rozsival is traded to make room, the reverse will happen as now the defense will be questionable.
L 1: Drury-Gomez-Zherdev
L 2: Naslund-Sundin-Prucha
L 3: Callahan-Dubinsky-Sjostrom
L 4: Fritsche-Betts-Voros
D 1: Redden-Staal
D 2: Girardi-Sanguinetti
D 3: Kalinin-Mara
Well, there you go, my thoughts on the current and always changing Mats Sundin situation. This will be the last article I write about this until Sundin makes up his mind. Read the main source for my article here.
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