December 20, 2008

Filthy Swede

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

Mats Sundin has finally made up his mind about where he wants to play this season, even though it’s already two months into the season. He’s chosen the Vancouver Canucks over several suitors like the Rangers, Canadiens, Wings, Flyers and the Leafs. But, he didn’t just become a Canuck when he signed on the dotted line, he became two other things as well. A hypocrite and a traitor. Need an explanation?

What a hypocrite: By signing mid-season with a division leader and Cup contender, Sundin has affectively become a rental player — the very thing he did not want to become and refused to waive his no-trade clause with Toronto because of it. Imagine how Leafs Nation feels about him taking a deal like this while they get nothing in return. And Mats might have made the dumbest comment possible by saying, we still had a chance to reach a playoff spot.” The Leafs had no chance in the state they were in last season. What games were Sundin watching/playing? Xbox NHL 08? 

The fact that he signed a one-year contract instead of the original two-year deal that Vancouver originally had on the table is a travesty too. How is playing half of a season for a contender not being a rental player? And next year, can’t you see this all coming again? I can and it doesn’t look pretty on Sundin’s character.

What a traitor: This is a guy who came out and said “I am a Torontonian.” How about now, Mats? It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of reaction Sundin gets when the Canucks come to the Air Canada Centre on Feb. 21, but I would guess he might be booed only slightly less than Vince Carter is when facing the Raptors — which is quite loud.

And you have to wonder what impact his agent, J.P. Barry had on his decision. When you figure in that he also represents the Sedin twins (both in a contract year), maybe he swayed his client to their squad to bolster their production and make some more inroads with Vancouver management.

(Hey look at that! I got through all of that without making a Sedin-Sundin-Sedin line joke.)

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