April 19, 2015

2012 GAMES


Is Ron Wilson right about Sundin?
Thu, September 4, 2008

On one hand, Ron Wilson said he respects Sundin for not rushing back if he is unsure whether or not he wants to play -- adding that he would welcome back the longtime Leafs captain with open arms.

On the other hand, Wilson suggested that one of the problems with the sad-sack Leafs last year was a distinct lack of leadership.

And you don't have to be Howie Meeker to connect the dots there, that leadership is supposed to be one of the major responsibilities of the team captain.

Is Wilson right about the Leafs recent poor form?

Full story: Wilson suggests Mats was part of the problem


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


It's hard to dispute that there is some truth to this if you look at the Leafs record since Mats became captain.Being the most skilled player on the team doesn't automatically make you the best leader.On the other hand the coach should lead the team more than the captain because the players don't play for the captain they play for the coach.The captain can only influence his team mates by example and respect.It's surprising how other players picked up their game whenever Mats was out of the lineup and then slumped when Mats came back.Was this chemistry or leadership issues?
Johnny, 2008-09-11 11:24:59

Was Ron Wilson referring to Mats directly when he said the team lacked leadership? Or was he suggesting that the entire team lacked direction. I guess you can twist his words any way you want, I choose to think that it was directed at the coach, GM, McCabe, Tucker and Mats to a small extent.

To answer the original question, yes Ron Wilson was right. Whenever the Leafs had a bad game or didn't perform as well as they could Mats would say something like "Hopefully we'll play better next game." Hoping doesn't get it done, hoping for a better bounce won't make a difference. Good teams dig down and rise to the occasion, they shape their own destiny. Leaders act, they don't hope.
Jon, 2008-09-10 15:14:50

Mats is Mats, a great talent who has had nobody near his skill level to play with in over 7 years. If he was the outspoken extrovert you seem to want him to be, he wouldnt be Mats. But as an extrovert, he also MIGHT have (rightly) complained and whined through the media about being stuck with rookies, minor leaguers, and the "twin stiffs" as linemates as was accurately described earlier. But not one whine, not one complaint, always the team player.

Yes it appears he couldnt make those twin stiffs first line players, nor could he "inspire" the others to be adequate 2-4 liners either. Then again, ever hear the parable that ends that "you cant build a brick house from a straw hat"? Or is it Mats fault they could draft, trade, or develop a half-decent player for him to play with in over 7 years? Hmm, he is supposed to be the offensive force by himself, defensive specialist in the last period, inspire lesser players to greatness, and get in the face of those who arent toeing the line. Now we can add do the drafting and trading as well. Yah the guy sucks all right.

Be prepared for a defensive boring display in blue and white next year. If I was Mats, Id go somewhere else where he might even get 2 decent linemates, let alone back to the leafs who havent given him even one talented linemate for most of his career. It just may make hockey fun again for him.

And as for him being "selfish" or "MeMeMe" as was called earlier, what colour is the sky in your world? He is one of the ultimate team players in the league, just for having to put up with this kind of team and linemates over most of his career. No he is not a "kick-butt" leader, but just one of the most talented and team-oriented players in modern Leaf history. Anyone remember how he "captained and led" the Swedish national team to the world championship? Didnt seem to be an issue there when he actually had some skill around him. And he clearly was the leader of that team, not Forsberg, not Nik Lidstrom, not Daniel Alfredsson. Give your heads a shake. A great player clearly not appreciated in this town. The Frank Mahovlich comparison is very accurate. He deserves so much better.
TC, 2008-09-09 20:15:00

Blues4U - apparently it isn't clear to you why the experts know Sundin is just average but let me help you.

On a team like the Leafs, you can't excel. If Sundin played on a team with some offensive support I'm sure the experts would agree he's above average.

Peter Michael, 2008-09-09 17:53:44

If Matts really wanted to win a Stanley Cup as most players aspire to, he would have left Toronto a long time ago.As far as Gary Roberts and Doug Gilmour being great Leafs, Roberts was a cancer on the Flames, a very desruptive influence, now he's just a NHL leaque bully.Gilmour we loved until he turned out to be a spoiled cry baby with the Flames, but they are true easteners that's for sure, they could hardly wait to get out of the west, to bad they really didn't do anything for the Leafs except fatten up their own Bank Accounts........
Ed, 2008-09-09 16:10:31

Somebody posted that Swedes don't make good leaders, and named Daniel Alfredsson as an example. Wasn't Nik Lidstrom Captain of the Red Wings when they won the cup last year? And Alfredsson has always been a great Captain. Look at how well he played in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs - he really came through. The Senator's problem has always been goaltending, not leadership.

A little off topic, I know, but the Swedish thing caught me off guard.

As for Sundin, it does look pretty selfish the way he is keeping so many teams in limbo. What are you waiting for? Make a decision already! Maybe THIS is what Wilson is talking about!
hockeyfan, 2008-09-09 16:08:52

To Mats,

Please don't come back. You were never a leader. You were/are an extremely talented player but you were motivated for yourself.

By being part of the leaderless Maple Leaf organization, this was the only way to accomplish anything during your stay in Toronto.

The Leafs haven't had any kind of organizational leadership sixties. I remember the last Leaf Stanley Cup win. At least the Ballard years were fun, in a circus-like sense. Remember the Red Kelly Pyramid Power time? Talk about leadership.

Stay away Mats. Let us remember your talent and ability. The saga that you are leaving as your legacy is only hurting your well-earned reputation. The nonsense of being the petulant little boy has become very sad.

Announce your retirement from hockey and let us remember how good you were, not on how you maybe will/maybe won't retire.

The money isn't the issue here, you have enough. Don't wreck you reputation by indecision.
David McBrien, 2008-09-09 14:28:18

Ron Wilson should look at his own track record before he starts throwing dirt. In San Jose he had one of the most talented teams in the league yet made it tradition to choke in the playoffs. He's lucky to be employed and should watch some "how to coach" videos before the start of this season...
Greg Fluit, 2008-09-09 11:53:10

Sundin is a nauturally talented player who is a floater. He is not there when the rubber hits the road,, or when his team needs a leader to set a direction. He might be decent under a proven leader who could put a fire under his butt. Otherwise not worth the money..
Matt Nickels, 2008-09-09 11:06:46

Mats was a great player but not a great leader. Gilmour was a great leader who made those around him better. Something Mats could not do. IF Matas goes to Montreal, he may be inspired by the leadership of Saku Koivu and then understand what everyone is talking about.
Ace Sleeveen, 2008-09-09 10:39:40

<< Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Next >>
Comment Links

Comment Links

, Last Updated: 10:59 AM ET

CNEWS Comments JAM Comments LIFEWISE Comments



Canoe Sports | Videos & Photos – News – Results – Scoreboard & Statistics



Which team is your early pick to win the Stanley Cup this season?
  Red Wings
  Another team