Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sundin won't be a Senator (or anything but a Leaf)

According to, Mats Sundin has refused to waive his no-trade clause. And good for him. A no-trade clause isn't something a player earns just to waive when he's asked; it means that player has the ability to choose whether or not to be traded.

It would have been nice to have him on the Senators, don't get me wrong. Despite the fact that he's never won a Stanley Cup, Sundin is playing some amazing hockey right now. He would look great on a line with Daniel Alfredsson, and if Peter Forsberg hasn't actually thrown in the towel on a return to the NHL we'd have one hell of a Swedish contingent on this team.

Leafs fans can take this one of two ways. They can see the fact that this player chose to stay in their city and play for a shitty team that once again won't win the Stanley Cup instead of accepting a trade to a contending team and maybe win a Cup. Or they can see it as a selfish move by Sundin to avoid a couple months of adjustment for the franchise's long-term gain. Personally, I think they should take it the first way; he's just a team guy.

Fans in Sens Army had a similar scenario when Wade Redden refused to waive his no-trade clause. The difference is that while Sundin is having a great year, Redden is having a forgettable one. Which makes it a lot easier for fans to rag on a guy who has given a lot back to his community, and has given all he has to the team for his entire career.

Franchise players are hard to find. The Senators are lucky to have players like Redden, Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, and Mike Fisher willing to play their whole careers in this city. And the Leafs, much as I hate to say it, are lucky to have Sundin--it's a lot harder to commit to a losing team than it is to a winning one.
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