Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.

6/30/2008

Sundin Signs...

When he's good and ready.

You know what? I'm going to get all speculative on your ass, and say Mats is pulling a Neidermayer. He isn't dangling the retirement word, but he doesn't have too. He's a UFA. And he's learned from the blowback Scotty felt last year that misdirecting the public so heinously is not without its perils. But he is planning on doing the same thing; take half the season off, sign with a contender, and make a push for that Stanley Cup that would complete his legacy.

He's going to take his time 'deciding' if he's coming back, probably until about January or February when his name will start floating around the ether, like Forsberg. Questions of fitness and his ailing hip will be posed and answered. The usual suspects of destinations will begin their courting or denying interest. Sundin will field a handful of serious offers before committing to a team he has connections to. Is that the Swede heavy Red Wings? Or maybe his buddy Naslund and the Canucks have a shot. Or maybe the...go read the archives from the weeks leading up to the '08 trade deadline for a complete list of possibilities.

In any event, Sundin ain't done. His mission is not complete. The circle is not closed. His destiny, unfulfilled. Mats wants a Cup, and that will be the main factor in his decision.

Maybe.

But I'm just speculating. Maybe he wants to play a full season at 85% and save some for the playoffs. Maybe he wants to risk injury and jeopardize his dwindling opportunities to hoist Lord Stanley. Maybe he wants to come back and provide leadership to a team intent on gutting itself.

Happy fishing, Mats. Just keep the Leafs in mind if they're in contention in February.

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7 Comments:

  • At 8:36 AM, Blogger Chemmy said…

    Hey! You're alive!

     
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Down Goes Brown said…

    Interesting theory, but wouldn't that completely contradict his whole "you have to be part of the team from October on" spiel from the deadline?

     
  • At 9:53 AM, Blogger ninja said…

    I am. Wasn't sure there for a while, and it's taken some time to get obsessed with a horribly run franchise again, but alas, it has happened.

    You're right. It does run counter to his media talk, but I'm thinking this is a new phase in his career. He's realizing it is nearing the end and he wants to win it all. But don't put much weight in my musings. And he can still get a hefty paycheque for playing half a season, thus not diluting his worth, and gives the team that signs him a break on the cap hit/salary.

     
  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger general borschevsky said…

    Hi Ninja. If Sundin does take half a year off, I think people will bring up his comment about not being a rental player. Isn't it kind of the same thing? Seems out of character, but hypocrisy is not really unusual in the NHL.

     
  • At 2:16 PM, Blogger eyebleaf said…

    i think he'll make his decision by the middle of this month...or by august 1st at the latest...i don't see him pulling a niedermayer...it caused burke a lot of headaches last year in dealing with the cap, and i don't think other GMs want to put up with that bullshit.

    nice blog, cheers.

     
  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    You both make good points. I'm just allotting more weight than usual to his 'indecision'. He needs his month or two after the season to recharge his batteries. But for some reason I get the sense the retirement word is his ploy to get a longer off-season and make one big push for a Cup.

    Plus, if he waits his cap number will be prorated, making him available to more teams. And if he is accused of being a rental player, he can say he wasn't traded at the deadline, or that he wasn't sure he wanted to play until the regular season standings race got interesting, or whatever else athletes tend to say to justify their actions.

    And the funny part is that after all my rationalizations I'll end up being way off. That's the way of speculation.

    And even if I'm way off on the timing, Sundin is waiting to sign in the right situation, the best opportunity to win, and not just to play another season.

    He's made his mark on the Maple Leafs record book. Next is either to continue to pad those numbers, or play for the Cup...says the cube psychologist who only knows his subject through print and post game pressers.

     
  • At 1:56 PM, Blogger Leaf Fan said…

    Hi.I am a huge Leaf fan. I used to live in Toronto but I recently moved to western Canada. Very far away from Toronto but I'll always bleed blue and white. Hey check out my blog at http://leafuniverse.blogspot.com/
    and drop me a line!

     

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