Finally, a great article on the Mats Sundin affair…
Leave it to Mike Brophy to hit one out of the park on this issue:
“When you thumb your nose at Bob Gainey and the Montreal Canadiens, who are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders and will be celebrating their 100th anniversary season this year, it says a lot about your desire to win.”
I know, I know, hie heart may still be in Toronto…however it says here that the guy isn’t the typical NHLer who wants to win a cup at any cost….He made that evident last trade deadline….. Do you want that guy on your team? Not me. Not at this stage.
“Some have speculated Sundin will take part of the year off and then return to the Leafs mid-season. If that is the case, then what was all that nonsense about the journey being important to him when he refused a trade to a contender last season? The Leafs are in a rebuilding mode and are long shots to even make the playoffs. There will be no significant journey this season.”
No, I didn’t write that for Brophy!
“GM Cliff Fletcher says he is open to having Sundin return if he gets the desire to play again, but I get a sense he says that because he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who shut the door on Mats. New coach Ron Wilson claims Sundin has lots to offer the team’s young players in terms of leadership, but again I get a sense he’d rather move forward minus Sundin. Wouldn’t it be better for everybody involved if Fletcher and Wilson united and said the team was no longer interested in having Sundin return? Thanks for the memories, Bub, good luck with your future.”
They should and perhaps they already have….I think it is becoming clearer every day he is going to retire…
“Also, I have never bought into the notion that he is a great leader. Too often during his tenure as captain of the Leafs there were negative forces inside the dressing room that Sundin sat by quietly and allowed to wreak havoc. A true captain would have put certain third- and fourth-liners in their place for the good of the team. Sundin was never a rah-rah kind of guy.”
Ok, this one will call on lots of fodder, but I agree with the guy and I think that is the type of thing Wilson has alluded to in his comments about leadership. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great leaf or a good captain…. I think he doesn’t have the makeup of the guy that was needed over the last couple of years.
I really hope he doesn’t come back to Toronto. It’s not that I don’t like him. It’s the opposite. I would lose a lot of respect for him coming back mid season because i took him at his word last year for not going at the deadline. He would also come back and be the captain of record of the first team to not make the playoffs 4 years in a row (most likely). Not a great destiny if you ask me. I would much rather see Mats retire then come back and take a team that should finish near the bottom, and make them finish a few seeds higher…what good is that?
Keep up the good work Broph, in this town we need more articles like this without the hyperbole