One Down, Four More to Go: The Habs Drop Out of the Swede-Stakes

David StearnsAnalyst ISeptember 13, 2008

Matt Sundin will not play for the Montreal Canadiens.

Yes, it is true. This comes at the hands of a deal that has landed Robert Lang, from the Chicago Blackhawks, into a Habs sweater at the cost of a Montreal second-round pick in 2010's draft.

GM Bob Gainey has sealed Sundin off from becoming a Hab and openly admitted that the talks with the limbo-dwelling European player were not very fruitful.

From this we have four teams in the Swede-stakes: Toronto, Vancouver, Tampa Bay, and the New York Rangers. A fifth team is possibility amidst the rumors surrounding an unknown team announcing a bid on the same day Tampa Bay declared their interest.

Sundin and his agent, J.P. Barry, seem to have teams falling out of the contest and this leaves us to believe that it will be a last-team standing ordeal.

Robert Lang's addition to Montreal has come as quite a surprise, and whether or not he'll produce like Sundin would have in this coming season will yet to be seen.

The Lightning were very active thus far in the offseason, and the numbers do not favor them in being able to afford a likely high-dollar salary for Sundin. 

Vancouver is being rumored to split the Sedin twins and this would leave plenty of space to make the addition. 

The New York Rangers have some issues of their own, in regards to whether or not to re-sign Brendan Shanahan, though he was paid quite minimal figures this past season.  With Jaromir Jagr leaving to play in Russia's super league, plenty of cap space can become available to bring in Sundin, without a doubt.

Finally, there's the Toronto Maple Leafs. I think that speaks enough to itself.

Sundin may wait it out until the final team remains, and if that offer isn't to his liking, then the likelihood of retirement looks favorable.

The Swede-stakes are soon to conclude and either way, Mats will somehow win.