|Mats Sundin explained his actions yet again on why he stayed with the Leafs at the trade deadline last season. (Sun Media/Al Charest)
Why Mats, why?
The most recent player to be a Maple Leafs captain made it clear today that the reason he refused to waive his no-trade contract a year ago was for the good of the team.
Speaking on the Leafs Lunch program on the team's official radio home, AM640 today, Mats Sundin said he decided to stay because he felt the team still had a chance to make the playoffs.
"I was put in a position I didn't want to be in," the beleaguered Swede said in advance of tomorrow's return to the Air Canada Centre with the Vancouver Canucks.
"For me personally, I felt that we still had a chance to make the playoffs. As captain of the team, (I felt) that jumping the ship wasn't the right thing to do."
Instead, the Leafs missed out on the post season for the third consecutive season sparking a more than six-month soap opera in which fans were divided into two camps.
The longer Sundin waffled about his future, the more fans swung into the anti-Mats camp. Some are outraged that by refusing to be traded, the 38-year-old stunted the team's rebuilding efforts before they even began.
"I can understand it, I can understand their point of view," Sundin said. "I understand the passion of the fans."