I have no insider information here, but I am going to go out on a limb. With 25 days until training camp begins I have made some assumptions, decided to read some tea leaves and completely ignore others here is my rationale in no specific order:
1. Sundin chose not to waive his no trade clause last year. Old news I know, however I think this is an important factor when trying to analyze where we are as of right now. I know what Mats said at the time about not joining a team mid stride and I know what he said about not jumping ship in a playoff run, but perhaps at that time, he was just worn out too. I think we as fans always assume that players strive to win the cup at all costs. Maybe that isn’t the case for Mats and maybe that is why he is leaning toward retirement.
2. I know its not a whole lot, but Sundin lists NY as his favorite road city and MSG as his favorite road arena in the 2007-2008 media guide. He could have mentioned any of the other cities, but he clearly has a love in for NYC…
3. Larry Brooks doesn’t as a habit post Eklund’s, I mean rumors. That is not his style. Brooks used to get a ton of info from the PA as he kissed a lot of Goodenow butt, and a lot from someone else inside Sather’s office. Don’t confuse this as me liking him, or even respecting him. Truth be told, he rarely issues rumors when he does he right more often then his competition.
4. Doug MacLean confirmed what Brooks wrote yesterday on the premiere of his radio show today. Is a deal done? No. Are they talking numbers? No. Are they getting more serious? That is what he said his sources are telling him. McLean, I am going to give the benefit of the doubt too. He is relatively new in this gig and I will assume that given his recent jobs he is still well connected.
5. Its getting late in the summer already. Mats could have easily taken the money and gone to Vancouver, and he hasn’t. He easily could have come back to Toronto with all his alleged allegances and hasn’t. He could have easily gone to Montreal and been with a top contender for the cup, but hasn’t. Therefore, he just isn’t into playing again. Also, given everything that he said at the deadline last year about wanting to be with a team from training camp on, would suggest that he isn’t going to join a team mid-way through the season.
6. A buddy of mine and I disagree on this last point. When Cujo bolted the buds for Detroit, he had 2 press conferences, one in Toronto and one later in Detroit. The Toronto one was the tearful, goodbye and the Detroit was the lets go get a cup together one. I suspect that perhaps that is the reason JP Bary has downplayed the Brooks story. He didn’t discredit it, he just said we are still talking to everyone. I think Mats is enough of a good guy to want to leave Toronto properly. This will take planning. I don’t think he wants it leaked out or done in a way that he isn’t in control. I am not suggesting he will be successful in this, but I think the one reason it is being downplayed is that Mats will want everything orchestrated properly. My buddy thinks I am nuts and thinks if he goes elsewhere there will be one press conference with honorable mention of Toronto.
So there you have it. I am not saying I am right. I am just looking at the facts that are before us (which are few) and mixing in some of the hypothesis too. If he plays, he goes to Broadway (there is nothing to play for in Toronto) otherwise its staying home. Time will tell. With 25 days left and counting here is hoping he doesn’t use all 25.
interesting to note that Maclean also said today that the McCabe deal is done in principal (for Van Ryn)with the Florida Panthers but that it could expand if I am right and Sundin is not a leaf as Toronto may add some salary (Devorak) to the deal in that Cliff will be way under the cap.