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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

PM - Koivu is a Finn, not a Swede. Big difference. And as for leadership, he came back from cancer - that speaks for itself
Ben TO, 2008-09-05 11:48:01

Ooops, Koivu is a Fin, but same thing really.
PM, 2008-09-05 11:41:06

Gotta laugh. With the team of duds around Sundin, who else are you going to blame?At least the new coach knows he can say anything. Things can't get any worse. The Circus of Losers carries on. The bottom line seems fine. Everything else is window dressing.
chris jemmett, 2008-09-05 11:33:12

finally a coach with some balls,i could not agree more !!!!
mark davidson, 2008-09-05 11:23:18

it doesn't matter if Wilson is right or not, what is important is that Wilson is taking ownership and is putting Mats into proper perspective. Wilson has stated that the Sundin era is over.
B. O'Connor, 2008-09-05 11:18:34

I am going to rip a page out of Don Cherry's book and state that Swede's do not make good captains, with the possible exception of Nick Lidstom. Daniel Alfredsson can't get it done, Naslund can't get it done, Koivu can't get it done... It is possibly a national character trait. They are great goal-scorers, excellent athletes but to wussy to be leaders of NHL teams. Toronto needs a Clark or a Gilmour type to captain the ship. A tough, no B.S Canadian boy. I am a homer, I admit it, but look at the recent (?), okay MOST recent success the Leafs have had and look at the leadership of those teams. Swede's are goal scorers, not leaders.
PM, 2008-09-05 11:14:41

Wilson is preparing to move on without Sundin and that is the only move he can make at present. So far so good. But to not even have enough talent in the dressing room to assign the C to someone else is pretty bad. After Cliffhanger's deals and trading away draft picks, the best talent he has come up with is Finger and Van Ryn. The danger here is that one or both will be injured very early on. Finger is not a strong guy and with the amount of ice time the Laffs will want for their $3.5 milliona, he might not last until Christmas before he is injured. And Van Ryn has really been bothered by a weak wrist.

Coach Ron doesn't yet know just how long a season can be when you are behind the Laffs bench. I recall Coach Mo looking away in horror in the final minutes of a game when McCabe, White or Colaiacove would make another bonehead play and do exactly opposite what they had just been told.

With or without Coach Ron's coaching talents, its a race to the bottom for this sad sack, motley Laffs crew of 3rd stringers.
Laffs non-believer, 2008-09-05 11:11:35

Finally a Leaf coach with the guts to tell the truth. If Mats couldn't carry the team and Mats didn't always have less talented teamates, what can he possibly do at 38 years of age. Time to rebuild. Love to see the win/loss record for the Leafs when Mats was out of the line up.
Tony Raco, 2008-09-05 10:52:25

The fact that the Leafs did not win the cup was in no way Mats fault. I have never been a fan of naming offensive stars to the Captaincy, it's more of a distraction to them than anything else and few possess the characteristics to be good captains. Sundin was one of them. Name a character guy to the role and he will step up his game and take on anyone for his teammates. Mats set his example on the scoresheet and I doubt he scored any more goals as captain.

That being said, it's good to see that nobody is immune from the wrath of the Leaf fans. If Mats can go from hero to zero in the time it takes to not win one more Stanley Cup, then nobody is immune. Any bets on how long before Toskala is the real problem?
Rick W., 2008-09-05 10:52:07

I agree with the other posters who blame the media, I don't think this was a comment on Sundin but the other so called leaders on the team. Mats carried this team on his back for years. Any one who has regularly watched this team has to have noticed the "let Mats do it" attitude. When he has been out of the line up the team had a number of players step up and take the lead to try and win some games but as soon as Mats returned it was back old "let Mats Do it" attitude. Mats is/was a solid point a game guy for the Leafs but to expect him to single handedly win every game is ridiculous. I think Wilson is referring to the lack of the other players to say "Mats has done his part, let's do ours and go win this thing!"
Blues4U, 2008-09-05 10:43:11

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