Friday, August 8, 2008

Mats Sundin and the Long Offseason

There has been a lot of question over where Mats Sundin will sign during this off season. However, there is no guarantee that he will be playing at all this coming season. While he still is able to play if he wants to, there is little reason to believe that he does. While there has been no official word on his retirement, he has been rather quiet this off season, and well there are many teams that would love to sign him nobody knows exactly what to expect.

One of the leading candidates to sign Sundin are the Vancouver Canucks. At the start of free agency on July 1st, Mats Sundin turned down a contract offer from them. The Montreal Canadian's are another leading contender, but nothing has happened there either.

One of the issues, may be Sundin's die hard loyalty to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has played his entire career with the team, and really doesn't want to leave. Last season when he was asked to waive his no trade clause, he refused, despite being in the final year of his contract, and with a team that clearly had no shot at making the post-season. However, going back to the trade Toronto has made it rather clear that they don't really intend to bring back Sundin for another season, and are surely not offering him another no trade clause.

Still the Maple Leafs refusal to bring back Sundin for another season is puzzling. Well I can understand why they may not want him on a long term contract, there is no reason not to sign him for one more year. Toronto currently has a young and weak team, that has very little chance at making the playoffs. At least bringing Sundin back would give them some credibility even if it won't improve the teams chances too much. In the end it is a bit pointless to watch your best player wander off without trying to keep him.

With these limited options Sundin may very well just retire this offseason. There are teams that would love to have him, but if he doesn't feel like continuing his career there is no reason he should feel forced to. Well Mats is smart to take his time and weigh his options before rushing into retirement (see Favre), the end result is that Sundin will not be playing this coming season. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with that.

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