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"You heard it someplace, not here."
It is becoming apparent that Mats really isn't excited about any of the choices being offered. One theory is that he'd really like to take a year off and return to a stronger Maple Leafs team - but after the lockout year, he knows full well the uncomfortable truth about being over 35 and being away from the NHL for a year - if you don't stay in absolute top shape, you face a hard road and a higher risk of injury. IF...and I repeat IF* this is his thinking, then the only sensible course of action is to play in Sweden this year. That or find an NHL club that is willing to give him a 1 year no-trade deal... such a deal might sway Mats as long as he trusts the GM offering it to stick to his promise and NOT let the press put him through another "trade Mats" barrage such as he saw last year.

So Mats will likely want a Canadian City, or North East city that doesn't have an overzealous media circle, but is a strong contender, with a GM that he trusts.
As far as I can tell, that would leave only Detroit as a possible good fit. All Canadian cities have crazy media for pushing stories or trying to create news - so if he found that he'd signed with a Canadian city that does not live up to expectations, he might see a repeat of last year.
Two problems with Detroit however, (1) they don't have the cap space to offer a fair value...Mats wouldn't mind a discount, but he won't want to be the #6 guy on the pay-scale. (2) He wants to play a few games in Toronto. Detroit doesn't play the ACC very often.

So following that theory to a conclusion, the better option would be to play in Sweden next season and see if he can push himself to stay in top shape rather than coast and enjoy the slower pace and more relaxed atmosphere.

It's just a theory, but if he isn't worried about the money, and he hasn't already decided to retire, then I can only guess that he has a situation in mind and is waiting for the right team to make the right offer - what that team and offer may be is a mystery, but if the rumored teams are correct - then it likely isn't one of them, or else they are asking for a different commitment than he wants to give.

Deciding whether he wants to retire or not should not be a hard choice UNLESS he's leaning towards retiring....If he's feeling up to playing, then he's likely pretty sure about what he'd want in a contract...the hold-up would be if the teams chasing Mats have a problem with the terms that he'd find ideal.

If that's the case - expect this to drag on another couple of weeks until some GM can offer the right conditions.
Filed Under:   Sundin   Detroit   Toronto   Montreal   New York   Flyers   Canuck  
November 17, 2019 5:51 AM ET | Delete
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