Mats Sundin Signs Deal With Vancouver Canucks

Matt Eichel@@mattyalloutSenior Writer IDecember 18, 2008

After a long and laborious offseason which saw no commitment whatsoever to where he was leaning towards playing, Mats Sundin has finally made his decision.

This time he's playing closer to the Pacific Ocean than the Atlantic Ocean.

Sundin was offered a two-year, $20 million deal which Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis originally had offered Sundin during the off-season.  Now, Sundin is finally done deciding and can start playing.

Terms of the contract are to come, but it is for the remainder of this season.

After months of deliberating on whether to accept various offers, Sundin chose the Canucks over other contenders such as the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, and many others.

Sundin wanted to play for a Stanley Cup contender.  And what better team than the Canucks, who have solid defense and goaltending.

In 1,305 career NHL games with the Quebec Nordiques and Toronto Maple Leafs, Sundin has 555 goals and 1,321 assists.  Not bad for the first overall pick in 1989 with Quebec.

Even with aging, Sundin has not diminished in stature.  Last season in Toronto, Sundin notched 78 points (32 G, 36 A) in 74 games for the team he had captained since 1999. However, Sundin's reasoning for not returning were because of his apparent desire of a Stanley Cup ring.

Beforehand, Sundin was quoted as saying that he thought players should play the entire season from training camp to the bitter end of the season or playoffs with one team and not come in halfway through the campaign.

So much for those words.

Sundin joins a Canucks club that is struggling without their No. 1 star and captain Roberto Luongo.  His entrance into this situation couldn't have been at a better time, as the Canucks are seeking leadership and scoring.

Consistent scoring.

Along with the Sedin twins and Pavol Demitra, Sundin adds a scoring punch that the Canucks have long needed since the departures of Markus Naslund, Brenden Morrison, and Todd Bertuzzi as the main point getters.

Sundin leaves behind the Leafs as the franchise leader in goals and points, playing 13 of his 17 seasons in Toronto and serving as the captain for almost 10 seasons.