I'm trying really hard to figure out what could possibly be going through the mind of Mats Sundin.
Let me see if I get this straight:
- He does not want to waive his no-trade clause
- He wants to stay in Toronto
- He wants to be a Maple Leaf until he draws his last breath
- He wants to win a cup in Toronto
- He does not want to play for another team/contender
Is he nuts? Seriously, what kind of Kool-Aid are they serving at the Air Canada Centre? Did somebody spike Mats Sundin's Gatorade?
Sundin is huge value. The Leafs can trade him to a number of teams and get young quality talent in return. Best of all, Sundin can go to a contender and win a Stanley Cup.
But he doesn't want that.
Sundin would rather stay with the Leafs, who won't make the playoffs for at least a couple more seasons. He says he wants to be part of the 'journey to a championship' and refuses to be a 'rent-a-player.' Honestly, what's so wrong with being a 'rent-a-player?' David Cone didn't have a problem with it when he was traded to the Blue Jays late in the '92 season. Ditto for Ricky Henderson in '93.
Sundin's loyalty must be applauded, but also questioned. One can make the strong argument that his loyalty will hurt the Maple Leafs in the long run. However, if that's what he wants to do, then we should accept it. Given his accomplishments, Leaf fans MUST RESPECT Sundin's decision.
Mark my words. Come September, 2008, Mats Sundin will not be playing for the Maple Leafs.
*The Audio Circus: Great trade bait!*