Well, it certainly looks like Mats has dug in and he is going to go down with his ship. If this were a movie I think we'd all be applauding our hero. So committed, such the "anti-athlete", cares more about the city that has idolized him than winning a championship. Cue the haunting violin now...
SNAP OUT OF IT! This is NOT - repeat NOT - the idealic "Jerry Maguire Mission Statement
" world. I have watched Mats Sundin since I was a 15 year old bantam hockey player in Toronto. I've idolized the captains before Sundin; Gilmour and Clark in particular, but I have never been more aware of the business of hockey than I am now.
Bantam turned to Jr. B, then on to Major A, then university and now Monday night mens league, all the while the big Swede has enjoyed life atop the landscape of hockey in Toronto, and unlike those before him, he is unwilling to relinquish his throne. I think it would be fair to say that the successes, while minor, were made possible by the departure of those before them. A point that comes to mind now is that all those C's before the current have returned - to various successes - in the blue and white. Funny how cyclical life is sometimes. Mats now has the ability to enable his successor - the next captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs
- and return to teach him before relinquishing his crown as his star fades.
The moral dilemna I now face is whether or not to revere the captain with my heart for his firm and noble stance or be disappointed in my head of his lack of grey matter to recognize that no more an act than waiving his NTC could be more beneficial to the team and city he loves.
I think that is it in a nutshell...by going away for a mere 3 months Sundin can do far more for the future of his franchise by staying and leading with blind faith. Surely a more noble course of action, but an equal arguement can be made for the opposite.
And so the tug-a-war continues...