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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



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283 Comments

For those posters who consider Sundin just an above average player I have a question. If Sundin is merely an above average player why has half the NHL been holding their breath for his decision and why has he received offers of over 7 million per season from four+ teams? Pretty strange for a player you so called experts consider just a step above a journeyman player wouldn't you say?
Blues4U, 2008-09-07 10:23:06

As a Habs fan, I laugh at this Toronto scene. They booed Frank Mahovlich out of this town in the 60's, and he is only one fo the greatest Leafs of all time. We Habs fans were glad to have him, and the cups he helped us win.

Blaming Sundin for Leafs woes is ludicrous. He couldnt make the twin-tower stiffs he has had to play with for over 6 years into first-line players, so how is he supposed to "inspire" these losers on the other lines? And just because he doesnt get in guys faces and threaten them doesnt make him a "bad" leader. Check most captains in this league right now and tell me how many of them are ass-kickers to their teammates?

The problem is that this team has nobody for him to play with, even close to his skill level. Last linemate of skill I saw him with was Mogilny, and he was at the end of his career, and Nolan too.

Blame administration for a lack of leadership. Cant wait to see what a great ass-kicker Tomasina Kaberle will be when he gets his turn in this rotation thing. LoL. He is pathetic - he would be considered a pussy in womens hockey, but at least he might be able to hold a girl against the boards in his own end from time to time. But I guess thats Mats fault too...
Ted C, 2008-09-06 14:34:02

Mats has got so much talent it's silly. Problem is though is that he doesn't inspire. He wants the Leafs to be great, but, he doesn't wear it on his sleeve the way Roberts or Gilmour did. The greatest runs the Leafs had in recent memory is when one of them was leading the team. Great players always play great. But the inspiration comes from the guys who dare to be great when they are not...or just greater than that which comes naturally. This is not at all a knock against Mats - he's a great player...but a great leader is something else.
PAUL, 2008-09-06 05:52:02

If Wilson didn't say it.... then he should have. It's right on the money.
Gary, 2008-09-06 01:12:32

Wow, I didn't ( couldn't)read all the comments but one thing is clear, people are mistaking good hockey playing skills with leadership. the point is over the last few years the leafs could beat any given team, and most teams over 40 minutes. BUT it slipped away too many times. Think about it! a little more motivation etc, could have been a hugh difference, Sundin, much as i liked him, didn't provide that.
Bretoner, 2008-09-05 23:15:02

FINALLY someone has the guts in Toronto to speak the truth! Ron Wilson is absolutely right. Mr. MeMeMe Mats has been a complete and utter failure as a Captain. He has never shown leadership. Speaking with an ex-Leaf once he told me that he was "Mr. Silence" in the dressing room. Mats has always only cared about one thing and that was Mats! He is one of the most overrated pro-athletes in sports history. Why do you think it is he never played in a Stanley Cup final? Why do you think it is that he never won a major NHL award? Why do you think it is he never finished anywhere near the top in league scoring? He has never accomplished anything team wise. It has always been and will always be about MeMeMe Mats. And the proof is in the pudding by not waving his no trade deal last March and by playing these stupid head games all summer long not only with the Leafs but the entire NHL. GET RID OF HIM ONCE AND FOR ALL! Then and only then can the Leafs begin to build a true Stanley Cup contender.
FRT, 2008-09-05 22:23:39

I think Wilson is right about the lack of leadership. Ferguson, Maurice, well just about everybody above Sundin but definitely not Sundin! That guy stood on his head some nights; he is pure heart and one of the best Leafs ever to lace a pair of skates. If Mats retires he will be remembered as one of the greats. If he signs with a new team he will be a nightmare for the Leafs. Either way it is lose, lose for us. Maybe half of " Leafs Nation" (what a joke) should have got their heads out of their asses and treated the guy better. Shame on you Ron Wilson for even insinuating that our Captain was not a great leader! You should take a long look above you and you will find the real problem. It is painfully clear that until there is some serious house cleaning above the GM this team will go nowhere!
Retired Soldier, 2008-09-05 21:26:40

Wilson wasn't here last year, so he should have just kept his mouth shut on it or said it was only a theory. Wilson is another in a long line of misguided coaches and shows his negativity by saying our league isn't about scoring goals. Why should the fans pay ridiculous amounts of hard earned cash on a team that isn't going to go all out for goals. Wilson's idea of coaching seems to be throw five men behind the puck at hope for a goal and then hang onto it. It's a sure-fire way to lose games and bore the fans to death at the same time. Expect more of the same garbage this year at the ACC.
ian stewart, 2008-09-05 20:44:59

Leadership in question? He's right on that point. Instead of Sundin however, he should have pointed at Peddie, Ferguson/Fletcher, and Maurice. Leadership starts at the very top....from Ballard to Peddie, that leadership has been putrid and that's where they led the Leafs to.
tim, 2008-09-05 20:20:33

Was he referring to the lack of leadrship from the maple leaf board, the GM, the coach, or Sundin. There are a lot of leadership gaps to pick from. Sadly, the media immediately picks Sundin.
Kirok, 2008-09-05 20:00:36

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