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Was signing Sundin a good move?
Tue, June 12, 2007

Mats Sundin will remain with the Toronto Maple Leafs for one more season.

The Leafs captain signed a one-year contract worth US$5.5 million on Tuesday, raising questions about Sundin's future with the organization.

Was this a prudent move by the Maple Leafs? Do they move their team leader at or before the trade deadline if the club is on the outside looking in concerning the Eastern playoff standings?

Have your say in our forum.

Sundin opts for one-year deal



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120 Comments

Mat Sundin is worth what they are paying him!! Look what they pay Mcabe, Mats is 4 times the player he is!!!!!
Jerry, 2007-06-14 00:06:31

Sorry James, but "goals for" over an 82-game schedule is not all that important a category. Especially for teams like Toronto who, being middle-of-the-pack, are more prone to "fatten" their stats against dud teams than most of the top clubs. Florida, over 82 games, scored just 11 less than Toronto, and also gave up 12 fewer goals. Montreal scored 13 less than the Leafs, but also gave up 13 fewer goals, while for Carolina it was 17 less for and 16 fewer against. And they all finished out of the playoffs as well.
George O'Leary, 2007-06-13 22:25:34

Many commentators on this forum have argued that the Leafs need to improve their offense if they hope to ice a team that will be competitive next year. I would like to point out that Toronto was tied for sixth in the NHL in the all important “goals for” category at the end of the 06-07 season. This is not a statistic to overlook. Toronto scored just as many goals (258) as top rated teams Anaheim and San Jose. What is the difference between Toronto and these teams? Is it defense? I think not. Toronto’s blue line was actually fairly solid in limiting the number of shots against. The real problem in Toronto, as it has been over the last two years, is inconsistent goaltending. In the season before last Eddie Belfour, future hall of famer, wowed fans with his inability to play the dominant role he once did in between the pipes. Last season that position was filled by former Calder trophy winner Andrew Raycroft. Raycroft was also stunningly inconsistent. His statistics in all categories except for wins ranked him in the bottom half of goalies currently in the league. That his number of wins was so high has more to do with the fact that he played almost every game for the entire season than anything else. At his current stage in development, (keep in mind that Raycroft is still young compared to most goalies just entering their NHL careers), Raycroft is not ready to be a No. 1 goaltender in Toronto. Raycroft is engaging in a strong conditioning program this summer which will likely improve his statistics in the coming year – whether this will be enough will be the question which decides the fate of the Toronto Maple Leafs next season not whether or not they can land a big free agent in July. Also, keep in mind that the one year deal for Sundin will leave Toronto in the same position to search for a new “Star Captain” in next years free agency bid which is reputed to see the names of – Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla, and Dany Heatley. Perhaps this is why the deal for Sundin might be the best move that JFJ could possibly make save finding a legitimate goaltender for next season.
Jordin, 2007-06-13 17:20:36

This is a big mistake signing Sundin, look at the talent they are gonna miss out on signing this summer:Briere, Gomez, Drury, 3 top line centres with speed and talent. Sorry Mats you should have moved on to another NHL team or go back home to Sweden and play out your career.

This should have been the summer to start retooling this old, slow team that wont make the playoffs yet again next year. This should have been step 1 of signing a young talented centre with speed such as Briere, Gomez or Drury then next summer adding to them. It

would be easier next summer signing a scoring winger if you had Briere, Gomez or Drury as the number 1 centre. Now all 3 of them will sign long term contracts with 1 of them possibly signing with Philly a team the Leafs will be competing against for a playoff spot next year.

Who knows what free agents will be available next summer but it wont matter because the Leafs will be in the same position as they are this year, trying to sign free agents,none will come to Toronto now if next year is Sundins last, who will be the number one centre??????

Huge mistake that will cost them free agents this summer and next!!!

I guess the team to start cheering for in Toronto is the Raptors, they are exciting to watch and a very good team on the rise.

Go Raps Go!!!!!!

Another disappointed Leaf Fan that is almost ready to give up on this organization for its lack of direction. Ferguson I knows its hard but you have to think with your head and not your heart, we all appreciate Sundins contributions over his years in Toronto but we all know good things come to an end and this should have been the end for Mats in a Leaf uniform.
James, 2007-06-13 12:37:02

Says Mats: "Bring in as many as possible ... I want to have as good a team as we can to make a run at the Stanley Cup."

Says JFJ: "we finished just three points out of sixth place in the East while being among the league leaders in man-games lost to injury."

What colour is the sky in the worlds of these two? Where Mats is concerned, he must have failed math because, even a dunce knows that when you account for just over $27.5 million of your cap - more than half by a considerable margin - on SEVEN players (Sundin, McCabe, Kubina, Kaberle, Tucker, Gill, and Raycroft), leaving perhaps $20 million to flesh out your lineup. well ... there certainly isn't going to be much flesh on those other 12 players by league standards. So how can Mats say "bring in as many as possible?" As many what? More stiffs along the lines of Belak, Battaglia, Ondrus, and Devereaux? Yeah, that'll put you over the top Mats!

The ONLY bargain in that Group of Seven is Kaberle, who must wake up each morning wondering how he can be making less than McCabe and Kubina and barely twice as much as Gil (all three virtually untradeable at their bloated salaries). As I've said repeatedly, if Mats was serious about wanting to "remain a Leaf forever" and "win a championship here" then he would have accepted a contract in the range of $3 million (hardly a pauper's pay) and free up another $2.5 million with which to bring in some decent forwards to play alongside him.

But of course, given JFJ's history at UFA acquisitions he likely would have spent it on Jeremy Roenick. His logic is also flawed, unless he considers a successful season to be one where you barely make the playoffs. So his team only finished 3 points back of 6th (the Rangers). Montreal was only 4 back, Carolina 6, and Florida 8. So what? All were five lengths and more back of 5th (the Penguins) and nowhere in the same league as 5th up, with the exception of Atlanta which demonstrated in the playoffs that they were among the same pack as the group ranging from Tampa to Florida.

The problem with the Leafs is that, being firmly ensconced in that group of six, they are always going to be in that "dogfight" predicted by Maurice before last season began, and I can see that increasing to a Group of Seven next season with a partial resurgence of Philadelphia. Unfortunately for JFJ, each of the other six has a better core than he does, and more money to spend on the likes of Drury (who will probably head west anyway), Briere, Smythe, Zubrus, et al.

I'll say one thing for Mats and JFJ - they both talk a good game. But of course, they HAVE to, one being the captain and the other the guy making all the decisions (we think). Unfortunately, Ferguson's "logic" is so transparent while making a case for his decisions he fairly secretes schmooze whenever a mic is shoved under his nose. Alas, there is never one authentic word in his vocabulary. Big ones, mind you, but all designed to obfuscate {I'll give him that one free).

Mats is a classic Pollyanna when it's his turn to comment on the future of the team. A very rich one mind you, but a Pollyanna nevertheless.
George O'Leary, 2007-06-13 11:56:24

All I can do is laugh. The Leafs have become so used to being losers that they even seem to scout losers. but look at the bright side; at least the losing culture the team has is well engrained in their equally "schleprock like" fan base...wowsy wowsy woo woo! Ha!
rick, 2007-06-13 11:33:11

Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers demanded that management acquire decent players or he wanted out.How is it that Sundin who Leaf management think is so valuable has no say in whom the team should go after? Why is he so content to be on a perrenial loser? Perhaps it's because he gets early vacation each year.
Jay Gold, 2007-06-13 11:25:55

Sorry, As long as Sundin is Captain= NO CUP in Toronto...he is not a leader..how many points did he get this years playoffs. But all in all. He is not the problem..it is the Board...they need to give Ferguson some freedom to build a team...not bandaid it


Phil, 2007-06-13 11:14:06

Atleast it is only 1 more year.

We can start to rebuild to make a run for the cup next year.
Trev, 2007-06-13 10:30:32

leafs dont have a chance...until they get a new GM and an NHL goalie they will never contend...for the record Sundin past due date ...i would let him go and trade or buyout Mcabe(what a mistake that was!)
brad, 2007-06-13 10:07:18

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