Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"Off The Post: Inching Closer to the Future"
Long Island, NY • United States • 25 Years Old • Male
I can't start heavily criticizing Mats since he is not the first player to do what he is doing: sitting for half a season before deciding where he wants to play. But I have to say, it is completely wrong for athletes to do this.

I'll be the first to admit that I really do not know too much about other sports such as baseball, basketball, or football. I know the basics and what's happening in the news, but I can't say I remember the last time a player in those leagues sat for half a year before deciding, "hey, I want to win a championship, whom shall I choose?" However I've noticed that it's become a growing trend in hockey.

I'm not talking about players that come out of retirement, because that happens in all sports (and can be a whole blog in itself). I'm talking about guys who either can't decide if they still have the fire and will to play another 82+ games, or the ones who know they want to play but sit around so half the work is out of the way and sign a contract in December/January. It started with guys like Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer. Teemu was on the brink of retirement, but Scott was only in his early mid-thirties. He easily could have played another year or two (which is evident since he's still playing) but he decided to wait until December to decide what he wanted to do. Ironically it was closer to playoff time with the Ducks moving up in the standings. Then Teemu followed as well, which I think was just as wrong as Niedermayer's lack of decision making. It also puts your team, in this case the Ducks, in a position where they can't decide who they will or will not sign since they are unsure if some of their more reliable skaters will be returning. It was selfish and this pretty much set the standard for big name veteran UFA's.

I sincerely have to ask without insulting Mats, but what has he done that deserves so much attention? There's no doubt that he is one of the better players in the game, and when he was in his prime he was incredible...but he's not that player anymore. Throw in that he's missed the first 30 games or so. With rumors circulating that the Rangers might trade someone important like Gomez so they can land an aging veteran who probably won't stay after this season, how do you think fans feel about that? If it were the Islanders I'd be furious. Same if I was a Canucks fan.

I can only imagine how Leafs fans feel. I remember Sundin stating that he wouldn't waive his No Trade Clause because he couldn't picture himself anywhere but Toronto. It was his home, where he lived, yada yada yada. How quickly was that thrown out the door? Yes, management did go through an overhaul, but the Leafs could have cashed in big with picks and prospects at last year's trade deadline but didn't because of those words, and now his signing with another team could damage their future as well since most teams will have to make trades to free up cap space.

The NHL should introduce a clause that you have to sign a contract by a certain date after the conclusion of the summer free-agency period unless you are suffering from some sort of injury that may keep you out of the race. Wang does it and enforces it as well...remember Bergenheim playing a year in Sweden because a contract wasn't in place before the start of the season? I doubt the NHL will do that though. The media has had so much fun with this and it has drawn so much attention to the league its ridiculous. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

Let's place bets, who's going to be the aging vet to do it next year?

-Rob McGowan

<a href="http://www.yesislanders.c...t;_blank"><img src="http://www.yesislanders.c....jpg"/></a>

Vote for my blog at YesIslanders.com!
Filed Under:   Rangers   NHL   Sundin   Islanders   Canucks  
December 17, 2008 4:46 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog, I agree. Can't say I don't want Sundin on my team though.
December 17, 2008 5:25 PM ET | Delete
I have to agree, for the most part. They need to implement a cut-off date for UFAs to sign with a team or players to unretire. Neidermeyer was different because he never officially retired, was under contract, and was suspended by the team. Sure, the suspension was likely a mutual decision to give Neidermeyer some time while reducing his prorated cap hit when he came back so they could make some moves, which is a questionable tactic. I'd even argue Forsberg was different due to his foot issue, as evidenced by the number of games he missed when he came back. That being said, if they implement a cut-off date, injury or not, a player should be held to it if they are not under contract.
December 17, 2008 7:00 PM ET | Delete
nice blog. I couldn't agree more. It's a joke. It would be nice if teams would just turn their back on players who do this but if you are Vancouver and think this will bring you a cup then I guess you can't say no.
December 17, 2008 9:23 PM ET | Delete
No one cared when Selanne did it.
December 17, 2008 9:51 PM ET | Delete
Posted this on a thread yesterday. 24 hours later my feelings are still the same...... "Who gives a rats arse about Sundin. I hope he signs, I hope he blows his groin in his first game and then he can go home to Sweden and his mommy can nurse him back to health with gallons of Campbells Chunky Soup while he spends his twilite years playing online poker. Seriously, this soap opra is so overblown and over reported on this website it's a wonder it hasn't been renamed Hockey Matts.com. Enough all ready! He's a 40 year old formerly good player that hasn't played a game in almost a year. He is not the second coming of Wayne fricken Gretzky. A pox on any team that signs him "This little rant makes me feel better.
December 18, 2008 12:17 AM ET | Delete
I agree that I'd be furious if he signed as a Canuck for that sum of money. But he if he does sign as a Ranger for a lower cost without the Rangers losing any of their core players, I have no problem with his signing. The Rangers already have too many fowards (Prucha, Rissmiller, Fritsche, maybe Dawes)that they've been looking to move anyway, so why not? If they can dump an excess foward or two and sign Sundin for one year as a Cup run, it will only help us clear some cap space to sign other guys like Dubinsky, Zherdev, and Staal.Sundin might not be the same elite player he used to be, but there is no denying that he will give the Rangers some much needed offense, especially on the powerplay. All in all, if the Rangers can sign him for around 5 million, I'm in favor. If not, I'm not going to be heartbroken.
December 18, 2008 8:30 AM ET | Delete
Well most of us myself included might not like what he is doing but this is a business and Mats has a skill he is marketing and he has a right to do what ever the heck he wants under the current collective agreement. I wish last year he had of waived his NTC for the good of the team but that's his right as well because he negotiated that in his contract. So as a LEAF fan I have moved on and could really care less what he does. I wish him well and wish whatever team signs him well because I think any team that adds someone like this is taking a big risk and the odds are its not worth it.
December 18, 2008 12:14 PM ET | Delete
I am so sick and tried of this guy!!!! He has got to be the most overrated player in the game. How many hart trophies does he have??? How many art rosses does he have??? Actually does he have any NHL trophies??? I think not. I really hope vancouver signs him for the 10 million a season and he breaks his leg in his first game back!!!!
December 18, 2008 1:25 PM ET | Delete
Justice would have it so if Sundin elects to join a certain team, that they do not make playoffs. That would be an awesome story.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive