Welcome Mats?

TIM BAINES, DON BRENNAN, CHRIS STEVENSON AND BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDI

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

4 on 1: Ottawa Sun hockey experts debate the issues of the day

TIM BAINES: Let's say it cost the Senators $5 million to sign Sundin for the rest of the season. And they had to trade a Fisher or maybe Vermette and another player to do it. It doesn't help them on defence. And when last I checked, Sundin doesn't stop pucks from going into the net.

DON BRENNAN: That's the obvious point, Tim. Do the Senators win the Cup with Sundin? Of course not. Generally speaking, they don't have a problem scoring goals. Fisher will get his. Vermette will get his. Foligno will chip in, too. Their problems are defence and goal. Sign Sundin? Why?

CHRIS STEVENSON: If Sundin is coming in, somebody is going to have to go. Who do you trade, boys? Mike Fisher with a $6-million deal and no points? There will be a lineup for him. Vermette, with his two cookies?

BRENNAN: If you've got only so much money or so many assets, you can move to give your team its best possible chance, go after a 'tender and a blueliner. There will be some good ones available as the season goes on.

BRUCE GARRIOCH: You sign Sundin so someone else doesn't get him. You think Brian Burke really wants or can afford Mats Sundin? No. Burke is doing this as a public relations ploy, but is also wants to make sure he doesn't go to the Vancouver Canucks.

BAINES: So the Ducks then deal Chris Kunitz and who else? Kunitz' salary won't cover it. It just doesn't make sense. Unless Sundin is prepared to take a significant salary cut, I don't see how he winds up in Anaheim, or Ottawa for that matter.

BRENNAN: Yeah Timmy, maybe Mats will play for a mill. Maybe he wants to play here because he likes the Byward Market. Don't be ridiculous. He's not about to give anybody a break on his contract.

BAINES: Don, are you driving your car while you're doing this right now? That's illegal, isn't it. As you are fond of saying, "The cops read this, you know." Or are you just not reading what I'm saying. He may end up leaving money on the table, but he's not going to play just because he loves the game or he happens to like the restaurants in the city.

BRENNAN: I read what you wrote, Bainzie. And I'm saying it was stupid. There is no "unless" he takes a cut. He's not going to. So why even bother to bring it up? That's like saying "unless" Bobby Orr is going to turn back the hands of time, and get Gerry Cheevers to do so also, the Senators aren't going to have a chance. And no, I'm not driving. I'm helping build a sunroom onto the back of the house.

BAINES: The idea of you with a hammer and nails is disturbing. Sundin won't take the biggest offer. It may not be much of a discount, but Sundin will pick the city he wants to play in and it'll be for less money. If he joins the Sens, maybe he can come hang out in your sunroom.

GARRIOCH: My belief is if owner Eugene Melnyk wants him -- and we know they met in Sweden -- then he will find a way to get Sundin. If that means the Senators have to shed cash, they have told Sundin they will do it.

BRENNAN: Seriously, Bruce. Bryan Murray is worried about Sundin landing in Vancouver? Why? He shouldn't be worried about him playing with a team in the Northeast Division because none of them can afford him. Same with the Eastern Conference. And that should be his concern. That and getting another goalie and a defenceman who can run a power play.

GARRIOCH: Don. Get with it. He's worried about him landing with one of the 10 or 11 teams ahead of them in the standings right now. Smarten up.

BRENNAN: And I'm saying he should be more worried about the Senators' end of the ice rather than adding another scorer, or keeping another scorer away from a team in his conference.

GARRIOCH: Vancouver might make the most sense. The teams that want him -- Philly, the Rangers, Habs and 'Hawks -- all have cap issues. I cannot see him going back to Toronto. I don't think he will be motivated by money. He's made more than $80 million in his career. He should be okay.

BAINES: It's easy to say that Sundin would help the Senators. But if his motivation is money, he'll make the Canucks open the vault. If his motivation is the Stanley Cup, he'll sign with the Rangers or Canadiens, both better teams than the Senators. The argument could be made that with the addition of Sundin, the Canucks may have a better chance of winning the Cup than the Sens. The Canucks' goalie at least gives them a chance.

STEVENSON: If Sundin signs in Vancouver, every GM will be relieved. He'll go there and fall off the map. How long have the Canucks had Luongo and how many playoff rounds have they won? They're the anti-Senators of the West. They've got the great goalie the Senators never had and underachieve. The Rangers are pretty much up against it when it comes to the cap. So are the Habs. Sundin might have trouble landing with a real contender. If his goal was to win a Cup, he should have signed in the summer when all the good teams had more cap flexibility.

STEVENSON: The Sundin saga makes for good talk, but I really wonder just how big the market for him now really is.

GARRIOCH: Bigger than we might think, Chris, just because of the fear among GMs of another team getting him.

GARRIOCH: I'm done.

BRENNAN: That's okay. Chris left 15 minutes ago and didn't tell anybody. And Tim ... well, if you read what he wrote ... he's been out to lunch for awhile.

STEVENSON: Don, I hope you do a better job building a sunroom than an argument because right now you're the nail to everybody's hammer.

BRENNAN: Hey, it's okay, Chris. I understand you missed my point ... I thought it was simple, though. The Senators only have so much money or so many players other teams would want in a trade. Why use the assets to go after a goal scorer when what you need to challenge for the Cup is a better goalie and a couple of defencemen? There, maybe you got it that time. I typed slower.


Videos

Photos