David Shoalts’s wrong on the Mats Sundin

For the record, Shoalts is one of the daily guys I actually think is pretty good. He is no Lance, but hey, who is?

Anyway, right from the get go in today’s piece about Mats (and I know he didn’t write the headline) he is off base on Mats.

“Time running out for Sundin to climb off the fence”

Here’s a little newsflash. Mats can probably take as long as he wants to get off that fence. Do you think for one second that if he announces on Friday that he is retiring that this is the end of this story. I guarantee you not (Hello Brett Farvre). I am not suggesting he will want to unretire. I am suggesting that there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that he won’t still be mentioned in hockey papers around the NHL as a potential savior for any given team.

“There was supposed to be a meeting yesterday between Sundin and Claes Elefalk, the Sweden-based representative of CAA Sports LLC, the agency that represents him. It was hoped Sundin might indicate which way he was leaning. But J.P. Barry of CAA Sports, Sundin’s chief representative, said the meeting was postponed until today because Sundin was entertaining other visitors at his home near Stockholm.”

There is why Friday is a soft deadline. Neither Barry nor the soon to be Mrs. Sundin is going to move Mats on this one. He is going to get enlightenment from some supreme being that is going to tell him what he wants to do and that is going to happen on Mats’ watch, and no one elses. Ya think for one second Mats told his buddies, don’t come today I have a meeting with my agent about a soft deadline…. Mats is driving this boat.

“Perhaps it is Sundin’s loyalty to the Leafs that is dragging out his decision. If he really can see himself only in blue and white, then he knows his Stanley Cup hopes are dead at 37, given the state of the team.

The decision, then, is whether he wants to be a mentor and elder statesman on an also-ran, or go to one of the contenders that can fit him under that pesky cap.”

Nahhh, I think it’s trying to decide if he wants to a) get his but in shape and go through all the physical rigors of another season and b) if he wants to put him with all the bs of an every day hockey player again..ie dealing with the media and the fans. i truly don’t think for one second this is about where to play, I really don’t think the guy is sure he wants to play.

“In any event, Sundin has to decide soon. A lot of NHL GMs are on vacation right now, but in the next couple of weeks, arbitration decisions on players will start coming in and the GMs will have to finalize their rosters. They simply won’t have time to wait any longer for Sundin’s decision.”

Here is where Shoalt’s goes really astray. The teams that want him will wait. There is no other asset or combination of assets out there that come close to #13. Mats was and is the big FA fish of the season. More importantly, the cash isn’t the driving force in Mats’ life. It is for his agent and for his bride to be, but he has so much cash socked away it is almost irrelevant. I guarantee you he will take a prorated amount if he waits as long as half way through the year. Teams were offering silly packages for Forsberg not knowing if he was healthy enough to play. With the exception of Steve Simmons, no one is questioning Mats’ health. The guy was simply awesome on a horseshit team last year.

The argument the other way is that teams will spend their money elsewhere. Are you suggesting that the night before training camp, Sundin tells JP Barry he wants to go to Montreal, to get a deal done (after saying he doesn’t want to play on or after the passing of the soft deadline) that Gainey doesn’t find a way to get it done? We all know the answer to that and it is the same for most teams. If a guy like Sundin suddenly want to play for you and it doesn’t cost you anything in terms of a trade to get him (I know you may need to dump a guy or three) you move heaven and earth.

So while we all want this to end soon there is no real need for it to end. Even if he says I am done, don’t bet on not hearing about #13 going somewhere again.

Don’t forget to vote in the where is Mats going poll:

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