So lately I have been thinking about the Sundin situation. This came after I went through the stage of hating the fact that I was reading something about him every sports site I seemed to go to. So after I got through that stage I started thinking about alot of different things, and I came up with an idea about why Sundin is taking so long to decide. My theory is that he really wants to play for the leafs again, but does not want to have the pressure of having passed up offers from contenders to play for a team unlikely to make the playoffs.
First and foremost I really don't think Sundin wants to be anywhere other than Toronto, which is also the reason why he did not want to waive his NTC at the deadline. It was not that he didn't want to be a rental. It was just that he did and still does not want to be anywhere other than here. He's built his life here, has his relationships here and I don't think he is a big fan of change.
I don't buy for a second that Sundin does not know if he wants to play yet. I think he knows he wants to and he knows he wants to play with the leafs, but he is waiting for a long time because he wants all the other teams in the "Sundin Sweeps" to pull their offers to pursue filling out their teams with others, which would make Toronto the only place he can go. Now why would he do this you may ask. Well there are a few reasons for it. First off. It would create alot of pressure on him if he just came back to Toronto over the contenders making offers for him. It could be viewed in a variety of ways. It could be seen that he has no desire to win because he passed on a contender, or it could be seen by many people as Sundin trying to get Toronto back into the playoffs. Either way there is alot of preassure on him. Where as if he were to have Toronto as his only option he can somewhat more quietly go back to Toronto and play out one more year.
I also think that playing for the Stanley cup is not much of an issue with Toronto. I think he wants to win it for Toronto rather than just for himself. So if he can't do it in Toronto its not a big deal or a selling point for him to go to another team. Combine that with his hip, and his aging he may consider playing the extra months as something of little interest.
But it has not gone as planned for Sundin thus far. Vancouver was not able to get anything, and have a ton of cap space so they are waiting on Sundin, as it also seems like the Habs are waiting on him also, so I am thinking Sundin expected that teams would start signing other players and forget about him. But that has not happened quite yet. This could be why he has had a variety of deadlines out in the press that he does not meet. It would frustrate teams and potential finally push them to give up and sign others opening the door for him to return to TO without the pressures, add that to the fact that the Cup may not be something Sundin values as other things in his hockey career and personal life and it seems like Toronto is the only place Mats really is going to be.
It's just a theory I have.