As the deadline seems to inch closer and closer, I seem to do the same towards Sundin.
He has been a solid player throughout the season, as he has his whole career. Easily the Leafs best player this season. Arguably, the best all-time. He has set both NHL records, as well as franchise records with the Leafs. He has averaged over a point per game throughout his whole career.
Tonight, while watching the Leafs beat teh Thrashers 3-1, I swear I caught something. Some sympathy for Mats Sundin. After that goal in the first, you could see in his eyes he knew his future was going to be rocky.
It's a lose-lose situation. If he doesn't waive his NTC, then he undoubtedly will be hated by those less understanding Beleafers. On the other hand, if he does waive, it'll be through extreme regret. He does not want to leave Toronto. This is where is home is. His wife is. His heart is. His life is. He does not want to leave, and those who understand where he's coming from, don't want him to either.
If it means losing out on a 4-7th overall pick and Bobby Ryan, or other possible trades, so be it. Why should we judge the man, who has devoted basically his entire career to this organization, if he decides to stay? We shouldn't. He is the face of the Leafs.
Tonight, I thought would be the second last time I'd hear his name called over the P.A. His last time, which has yes to come, is, of course, when his #13 is raised to the rafters with all the other greats he has been mentioned with throughout his HoF career. Yes, HoF. I don't care if he didn't win a cup, he deserves to be inducted. May not be in 3 years, may not be in 5. But he should be inducted.
As you may have guessed, this blog has been infering towards him retiring at the end of the season. I personally beleive he will, if the Leafs trade him. May not, he may wanna retire a Leaf. He did say earlier today that he is still unsure if he wants to come back for another season.
Bottom line, whether Sundin waives or doesn't, I don't wanna see him go. If he does happen to leave, if/when he comes back (even if he suits up as Leaf for another season), I wanna see a Standing O in his honour. You cannot disrespect such a great as Sundin, no matter how badly you wanted Bobby Ryan. Beleive me, he's worth way more than a pick and a guy with two first names.
- McCabe said he will consider waiving his NTC. Not new news, but hey, it's the 5million dollar man we're talking about here. Rumours have it he could go to NYR.
- Grats to Bob Gainey and family for him having his number raised. Thought he did retire before I was born, I knew who he was. (I also knew who Gump Worsely was, my gfs grandfather, met him too. =) ) May he rest in peace.