Where will Mats Sundin sign?
Nearly every player in the NHL knows where they will be playing in two months, except for Mats Sundin. Here we have a player who is 37 years old and has averaged a point a game during his career but yet, he is still undecided on who he wants to play with. That is right. In this situation, the power is in the player, not the team. One thing is for sure; Sundin wants to win a Stanley Cup before he retires.
So if it is a cup he wants, Mats will not sign with the Vancouver Canucks who made the most ridiculous offering possibly in NHL history. For those of you who missed it, the Canucks want to make Sundin the highest paid player in today’s NHL at a salary of $20 million over just two years.
Yep, that’s in the same category as Alexander Ovechkin and over $1 million more than Sidney Crosby. At Vancouver’s defence, Sundin would fill the hole after the loss of Captain Markus Naslund and Brenden Morrison but he will not sell out the arena seats. Long story short, if he were to sign with this non-playoff, non-exciting, non-moving forward team, we know why.
Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey started this whole Sundin-fest when he flew himself to Sweden to meet Sundin personally back in June. The Canadiens franchise is celebrating their 100 year anniversary this year and by adding Sundin, Gainey thinks his addition is crucial.
It is unsure what kind of a contract Montreal has offered but there is not much salary cap room to play with. This is definitely a cup contending team and Sundin does not need the money, so this may a serious consideration. Truth be told though, the Canadiens supporters have never thought to highly of “captain Mats”, which may be the downfall.
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If Sundin is serious about only wanting to win a cup, than he would be smart to take a pay-cut and sign with the defending champs. This would be a natural fit for him since the Detroit Red Wings are loaded with seven Swedish born players already. If there is ever a guarantee in at least making a decent run for the cup, it is Detroit.
Of course there will always be option #4, resigning with the team and city he “loves and cherishes” in the Maple Leafs. If we think about it, Sundin kind of screwed Toronto last season. During the trade deadline there were many offers for the Swede but he refused to waive his no-trade clause. He could have just resigned during the off season plus the Leafs would have another top player and a high draft pick.
Sundin was supposed to make a final decision by August 1st which is now a week late. He has been offered three great contracts that all come with three different scenarios. No matter what happens though, the Toronto Maple Leafs will always be there for him; so will retirement.
By Kevin Chaves
ProHockey-fans.com Director of Content
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