While scrolling through the Toronto Star's depressing list of it's most popular articles this year (Mats Sundin's house? His marriage? No Blue Jays at all? I hate you, Toronto Star readers), I came across this beauty from Rosie DiManno.
DiManno probably doesn't write about sports often enough to qualify for the coveted Mittenstringer of the Year award, but I'd argue she deserves consideration for this one article alone.
Writing the day after Sundin confirmed he would note waive, she has this to say in a column headlined "Classless Leafs don't deserve Mats":
"Doug Gilmour. Wendel Clark. Rob Ramage. Rick Vaive. Darryl Sittler. Dave Keon. All were Toronto Maple Leaf captains. And none retired from hockey in that capacity. Mats Sundin intends to do so, damn it...Dear lord. Given the importance of the story, has anyone ever been more wrong? About anything? If I sat down to write an article called "The exact opposite of what actually happened with Mats Sundin", wouldn't there have to be a paragraph that was identical to what DiManno wrote?
The public has grown weary of sports idols who swap loyalties for the green, and rosier environments. Would serve the Leafs right if, denied a deal for Sundin at the deadline, he refuses to re-sign here now. But he won't. The guy's only crime is that he's not a mercenary, that he's true. All else is false."
This isn't even (for once) a knock on Sundin -- she's not quoting him in any of those passages. This is simply the opinion of one highly paid professional sports writer, with her finger on the pulse of the situation in ways that mere bloggers and fans like you and I could never understand.
Great work, Rosie. This is why you're easily one of the 10 or 20 best hockey writers the Star has. We look forward to your future work, such as "Sun to rise in West" and "Stajan to avoid soccer ball".