Monday, February 25, 2008

Sundin staying put, Brad Richards on the block

With the NHL trade deadline a day away, two quick notes:

1.Mats Sundin will not waive his no-trade clause.

2.Brad Richards has been told that the Lightning are trying to unload him. He gave them a list of teams. So expect the former 2004 Conn Smythe winner to have a new team sometime over the next 24+ hours.

The recently turned 37 year-old Maple Leaf franchise center decided that he'd rather stay put in Toronto because he doesn't believe in rentals. Here's what Sundin had to say on the situation late last night through his agent J.P. Barry via the AP:
"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 have spoken to and listened to my family and those closest to me
about this issue. In the end, there is no right decision in a situation like
this one.”

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. I hope everyone will understand and respect my
Not surprisingly, many of my colleagues are taking the future Hall of Famer to task for not putting his pride aside to help benefit a Leafs team which is going nowhere. I'm kind of mixed on this because part of me applauds Sundin for wanting to stay and finish his career in Toronto.
The soft spoken player whose 62 points pace the Original Six club can become an unrestricted free agent this summer which is why he's opened himself up to criticism. What if he leaves? Then the Leafs wouldn't get much of a return with just a compensatory draft pick (probably 2nd round).
Ultimately, it's his choice and a great player who's been in the league as long as he has earns the right to be respected.
So, I'm not going to kill him. Most of the blogging community probably wants to add Sundin to their roster and is a heck of a lot more selfish than they want to admit. So isn't it a tad hypocritical to bash Toronto's No.13?
It is what it is. Hockey fans just need to accept it and move on. Besides, there are other good players who will be moved including Richards, who has a lot more years left than Sundin.
If you want an alternative opinion on this and other NHL stuff, SportsFan Mag's own Greg Wyshynski dropped by and gave me a few minutes over at Hitting Back to discuss the locals, regular season and deadline.
See ya later.

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