Could it be the end for Mats?
The Toronto Maple Leafs are right on the edge of a playoff berth, and on the outside looking in. With the playoffs looking more and more unlikely for the team is Toronto looking to keep their captain and team leader Mats Sundin or trade him and realize it is time to start looking ahead to the future?
The 36-year-old center and Toronto Maple Leafs Captain is a free agent at the end of the season and Toronto has an option of whether or not they want to keep the 8 time NHL All Star. Sundin who was the 1st overall choice in the 1989 entry draft and is 2nd all time in points and goals for the Maple Leafs. However, the team has shown little signs of exercising the right to keep the center for one more year or sign him for the remainder of his career. The team would rather resign him then have to use the option. His $4.56-million option would mean a $6.33-million salary cap hit (because it’s the average of the entire contract that counts against the cap). There were contract talks earlier this season but none as of recently.
Toronto is beginning to look ahead and it looks as though there is a good chance Mats is gone, and if not by Tuesday then by the start of next season. There are teams out there who could bolster their roster heading into the playoffs, and with Tkachuk out of the picture for teams, Mats and is probably the best option (him and Bill Guerin). What team could use Sundin and who would be interested might you ask? Several teams come to my mind.
Anahiem-Anahiem recently acquired a first round pick from the Lightning and I am sure would not mind giving up one of the highly talent young centers, who make a decent amount of cash.
Calgary-Lets face it Calagary needs a piece to complete their puzzle especially with how up and down their offense has been all season. They have a good amount of depth at the center postion but I am sure would be more than welcome to move some players around. If this is the case expect seeing someone like Lombardi go. Just picture a line of Friesen, Tanguay, and Sundin
Dallas-The Stars could use someone to add that all around threat when he has the puck in their zone. They have the defense but their offense leaves a bit to be desired.
NY Rangers-Shanahan-out, Kasperitis-no where to be found. This is a team that is good but not playing well as of late. Jarg needs healthy talent around him to help that team go deep in the playoffs and there are plenty of minor leagues the Rangers could give up.
Pittsburgh-Though very unlikely, Pitt has the money to do something-Today! Since there is plenty of young talent on that team losing someone suck ahs Ekman, Christenson or Staal might be worth if for that veteran leadership.
Vancouver-They finally have the goalie and now could contend. Theyre not getting any younger either! Stick Mats with the Sedins and that could be a very deadly line. Ryan Kessler could be a good fit in Toronto, not much else they have to offer right now.
IF nothing is done now he could still very well be moved. He wants to win a cup but it is not his choice, but rather Toronto’s on what to do with him. If he does not go to one of those contenders this year expect teams like Colorado (where he played with Sakic when they were the Nordiques), who has Sakic as an unrestricted free agent, The capitals who can be expected to make a dip in the FA market this off season with plenty of money to spend.