Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mats Sundin is right and you're wrong

Wow, big group here. I'd like to thank all of you for coming by on such short notice. It must be tough for so many of the NHL's most respected stars, past and present, to all get together in one room. It's really great to see all of you. How's it going Wayne? Why don't you grab a seat up here next to Ray Bourque and Marcel Dionne.

Anyways, I'm going to cut right to the chase. I have some bad news. I'm afraid that some new information has come to light that affects all of you.

You're all frauds. Mats Sundin says so.

You see, every legend in this room was traded at or near the deadline at least once. That means you were all rental players. And as we learned this week, that means Mats Sundin doesn't believe in you.

Now, settle down Chris Chelios and Larry Murphy. Wipe those tears away, Mike Gartner and Joe Nieuwendyk. Chin up, Alexander Mogilny and Pavel Bure. It's better that you hear this now than continue to live a lie.

Is Butch Goring here? Butch, I'm afraid we're going to have to ask you to return that Stanley Cup ring from 1980. It doesn't count anymore. You what? You say you "earned" it. Well, yes, we thought so too, but apparently we were all wrong. Mats has set us straight. Stanley Cups don't count unless you were with the team for the entire season.

So Butch, if you could just line up over there near that big garbage can labelled "Unearned Stanley Cup Rings". Yes, that's right, over there behind Glenn Anderson, Mark Recchi and Ron Francis. Thanks.

Oh, hey, speaking of which. Mr. Francis, when you're done returning your 1991 Cup ring, I need you to come over here. Could you stand next to Brian Leetch and Doug Gilmour? I have some especially bad news for you three. You see, you guys have something in common. No, I mean besides that you'll all be in the Hall of Fame some day. You were all "rental players" acquired by the Maple Leafs during Sundin's captaincy. And I'm afraid I have some especially bad news for you.

Remember when you were acquired by the Leafs, and you walked into that dressing room? Remember how Sundin shook your hand and welcomed you, told you how glad he was to have you on the team? Well, it turns out he was lying. He thought you were doing things the wrong way, because you hadn't been on the team since October. Yes, I realize he sounded convincing. But it turns out he didn't even want you around. It would be hypocritical for him to feel any other way.

Now, is Brad Richards here? What about Brian Campbell and Marion Hossa? OK guys, I have some good news for you. You were dealt at the deadline this year, but you still have time to make it right. Listen carefully: do not report to your new teams. Tell them you'll see them in October, because you want to do things the right way. And for gosh sakes, next time remember to get a no-trade clause.

What's that Brad? You say you did have a no-trade clause, but you waived it. Why would you do something like that? Because you "want to win a Stanley Cup"? Oh dear. Brad, I'm going to need you to stay behind after the meeting. We're going to have to really have a talk about your poor attitude.

OK, did I see a hand raised somewhere? Is there a question? Hm, interesting, did everyone hear that? I'll repeat it for those in the back.

"If all these great players, with all their Stanley Cups and individual awards and first-team all-star selections, could accept being rental players... then why can't a guy like Mats Sundin, who has never accomplished any of that, do the same?"

Hmm. That's a good question. And I'm sure there's an excellent answer. But unfortunately, we're all out of time. Sorry everyone.

And again, thanks for taking the news so well.


  1. Mats is entitled to his opinion just like all us bloggers. In most circumstances I saw, Sundin made the distinction that it wouldn't feel right for HIM, but he was fine with others who had made the decision to go. The times when he didn't, keep in mind he was being interviewed by probably 30 or more people, and he didn't have time to sit down and write out exactly what he meant. All those other players you mentioned should, and likely did, take it with a grain of salt, especially if they have ever met Mats.

  2. I'm definitely being a little over-dramatic here (maybe I could write for the Star some day). And I don't think even his harshest critic would dispute that he had earned the right to make whatever decision he wanted.

    It's just that in this case, his decision was different from virtually every other player in NHL history, including many who were far more accomplished.

    And as far as how he views other, even his carefully crafted statement did say: "I have never believed in the concept of a rental player." That's pretty concrete, even though he qualifies his strongest comments about winning the Cup with a "for me".

  3. Sundin queefed us. Mats was the ringleader of the Muskoka 5. He set the franchise back years by not accepting a deal. Had he gone, the others would have as well.

    Here's the facts. Everyting he said about "rental players" was a swerve to hide the fact that he didn't want to play anymore that season. It was easier for him to "ride the season out" with the losing Leafs rather than going to another team with HUGE expectations on his shoulders. Sundin didn't want that. He essentially quit when he refused to waive his no move because he didn't want to play.

    Instead he came up with that horse sh1t about not wanting to be a rental player (what was he when he signed with Vancouver after half a season had passed?) and wanting to retire a Toronto Maple Leaf (again....Vancouver). Sundin lied. He tried to say everything he could to garner support for him to stay, and it was all lies.