Dead to me


“I have carefully considered the team’s request that I waive my no-trade clause. I have always believed I would finish my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf so the actual request was still a very difficult one for me to contemplate. […] I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June.”

— Mats Sundin, February 24, 2008

“I am truly excited to be joining the Canucks. Once I made the decision to return to play a few weeks ago, the Vancouver opportunity was simply the best overall fit. I want to thank Mike Gillis and the entire Canucks organization for their professionalism throughout this entire process.”

— Mats Sundin, December 18, 2008


Thanks for your many years of service to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mats (although I guess making you one of the top three money earners in NHL history ought to be ample compensation). Also, thanks for the nine pointless games you played after deciding not to waive your no-trade clause at the trade deadline, en route to a third straight year out of the playoffs. Thanks for costing us a chance to land Chris Higgins, Mikhail Grabovski, and a first-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for renting you out, not to mention Greg Pateryn and a second-round pick, which is what it eventually cost to get Grabovski. Thanks for saying you never wanted to be a rental player and that you wanted to be part of a team from training camp right through to the playoffs, only to skip the first three months of the season and wait until after Christmas to join the highest bidder for your services, you wishy-washy mercenary hypocrite. Thanks a lot, Mats.

As I said in July, if you’d just let us rent you out then, we could have had a nice haul, and we’d have welcomed you back to let you retire a hero. Oh, you will come back one day. And we’ll hoist your sweater into the rafters, where it belongs. We’ll always honour your memory. But as of today, you’re dead to me. 

6 Responses to “Dead to me”

  1. 1 Marty

    I understand what you’re going through, and it will pass. He’s clearly one of your favorite players since you thanked him before you declared him dead.

    That may depend on how he does in Vancouver, though. It could end up like Orr with the Blackhawks, or like Borque with the Avalanche. I’m from Detroit, and the only other comparison is Barry Sanders. The Lions crushed the joy of playing the game out of him, and he just quit. Do you really want the Leafs to do the same thing to Sundin?

    I really like this site, by the way. It’s my one stop shopping center for grammar, fencing, hockey and inappropriate comments. I read it all the time. I’m not lurking, I’m just selfish with my thoughts.

  2. I dunno, I think he’s OK.

  3. 3 Rachel

    The funny thing is, half of us in Vancouver don’t even want him. We had a rental player once. His name was Messier. We were unimpressed.

  4. 4 Peter Lynn

    @Marty: I hope he ends up like Clint Malarchuk with the Sabres.

    (Okay, that might be over the line. That’s the bitterness talking.)

    @Dickolas Wang I just want you to know that you were one of the very first people I thought of when this signing went down. It’s become like a common thing in the NHL for Vancouver to fall in love with Toronto’s sloppy seconds. I don’t know what that’s about. Enjoy your new bald Swede, along with “Frodo” Wellwood (or is it “Fatty Bolger” now?).

    @Rachel: Good point. Let’s look at the comparatives:

    Sundin: Bald
    Messier: Even balder

    Sundin: Winner of the Mark Messier Award for leadership
    Messier: Namesake of the Mark Messier Award for leadership

    Sundin: Played alongside Wayne Gretzky in a McDonald’s commercial
    Messier: Played alongside Wayne Gretzky in the Edmonton Oilers’ Stanley Cup-winning dynasty

    The fact is, much as Messier is rightly loathed by Canucks fans, he easily outscores Sundin in every conceivable category.

  5. @Rachel: Are you insane?!

  6. 6 Rachel

    @ Richard: No! I was against having Sundin for the same reasons Peter is pissed about him leaving Toronto.

    “Frodo” I’m down with though.

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