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
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
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
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
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
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