Does Mats Sundin Understand What "Start to Finish" Means?

Joe GillenCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2008

Okay, is it me, or didn’t Mats Sundin say before last season's playoffs that he wanted to be a Leaf forever? Didn't he say that he didn’t believe in being a rent-a-player?

Mats was quoted as saying, "I don’t believe in joining a team for the remainder of the season and playoffs, I believe you should be a member of the team from start to finish".

Mats, you joined your new team, the Canucks, three months into the season; to me, that’s not start to finish.

I’m sure there are lots of bitter Leaf fans out there holding ill feelings towards Mats, and I totally understand. If he were as loyal to his teammates and fans as he said he was, year after year, why couldn’t he have waved his no-trade clause? That’s the question.   

I think he just wanted to see what changes the Leafs organization were going to make, and what direction they were heading in before making up his mind. Not only was Mats waiting to see what the Leafs were going to do, he also wanted to see what the other teams around the NHL were up to.

He has many fellow countrymen on various NHL teams, but more so on the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings. However, due to the salary Mats was looking for Detroit fell out of the hunt. So everyone, including the media, thought the New York Rangers were a surefire to sign him. 

The media was all over this story for months and months, all summer long, with Sundin claiming he wasn't interested in the money, wanting simply the best chance at the Stanley Cup. Apparently not, as he signed for the Canucks for more money.

So the question remains, has this soured his legacy in Toronto? Has his almost perfect career been stained due to greed and broken promises?

Well, we’ll have to wait until Feb. 21, when the Canucks visit Toronto, and the chorus of either boos or cheers will sign off on the player's legacy.