Deals that fell through

According to newspaper La Presse (citing the Toronto Sun), Mats Sundin refused to agree on a deal that would’ve sent him to Montreal at the Trade Deadline.

Still according to the Montreal newspaper, Bob Gainey was offering forward Chris Higgins along with 3 draft choices (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in next year’s draft.
(article in french)

In other news, according to Pat Burns who cites ”high profile members of the Wings organization” Sundin also refused a deal to the Red Wings that had a two-year contract extension offer along with it.

Finally, according to the New York Post, Glen Sather refused a deal that had San Jose Sharks forward Steve Bernier coming to the Rangers in exchange for forward Sean Avery.

Marco Normandin
HTR Vice-Admin

65 Responses to Deals that fell through

  1. leafy says:

    If the story is true, this is almost exactly what I said Gainey would have to offer for Sundin before the deadline.  I stated that realistically, Gainey would have to include Higgins in a deal for Sundin.  But unfortunately, I got my ass chewed out by 1 or 2 people for suggesting it.

  2. azzkikr2100 says:

    Some people have yet to realize you have to give something for something in return. You normally cant rip a team off anymore.

    Look what happened when the pens got hossa and dupius. They lost alot of their potential and supporting cast for a winger to shoot crosby's passes and a fast hard working utility.

    You have to give something up to have a chance at making a run and that is what the pens did. Montreal might be good enough without any blockbuster moves but only time will tell.

    We all know the potential of the leafs. So im not going to say anything about them. If i were sundin i would have left and got the leafs some draft picks and potential – then signed back on with the leafs next year.

    But do players ever do that? I am sure its happened before.

  3. Habfanforever says:

    Toronto Sun? Credible source?

     Not so sure Gainey would have given up that much for a 38 year old rental.

  4. habsrock99 says:

    I highly doubt Gainey would have made that deal, especially since he was putting a lot of effort into aquiring Hossa without having to give up Higgins. At this point in time, Hossa's the more valuable player because he offers a long-term solution where as Sundin would have been a short-term fix so if Gainey was reluctant to deal Higgins for a better long-term option I doubt he would of parted with him for a guy who play 20 games then go back to the enemy.

  5. ericthered1961 says:

    "citing the Toronto Sun"……is a gaurentee that the story is false.

  6. ericthered1961 says:


  7. mojo19 says:

    You can't guarantee that. Its most likely true. Besides the Toronto Sun's sports coverage is the best out of any Toronto paper.

  8. mojo19 says:

    Gainey would have made the deal. He’s the one who offered it.

  9. markjohnston says:

    true or not, man…can you imagine montreal with sundin and the way they're playing right now?

    still, I think it would have been a bad(ish) move.

    montreal's cups lie in the future, not this year. they might be able to do it, but I would have to rank a large number of teams ahead of them (despite their standing).

    the next 1-3 years could be very bright for the habs though!

  10. Kramer says:

    The mafia was behind 5 of the trade deadline deals.  Also I learned from a friend of mine who's buddies with the guy who supplies the beef sausages at the ACC that Sundin almost waived his NTC when he met with his agent.  But he changed his mind when he heard Barbara Streisand music playing in the background.

  11. habswinthecup-again says:

     I read about this deal as well and all I can say is if true thank God Sundin wants to stay with the loser that is Toronto. It would have been way too much to give up for him.

     Sather should have taken that deal if it was offered.

  12. GoLeafs13 says:

    well since he has more value than anyone on montreal, i can actually see that this is realistic. montreal won't win the cup this year but if they had sundin they would have had more than a shot.

  13. CofRED says:

    The only thing about the Sundin deal you mentioned is that he was in a no-win situation.  If he stayed he would be villified (and he was, in large part).  If he left and didn't resign, he would be villified (a liar and a traitor).  If he left and resigned with the Leafs, then next year at the trading deadline everyone would be calling for him to be traded away again for more picks and prospects.  He was in a tough spot, and I honestly think it came down to him doing what he would be happiest with.

  14. habsrock99 says:

    It is coming from the Toronto Sun and my experience with the Sun Newspaper(not just Toronto but Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, etc.) is that 9 times outta 10 they're printing bullshit.

    Gainey wouldn't of offered that deal because he knows Montreal isn't ready for the Cup this year, he said it himself that he wants the Cup next season(100 year anniversary) which means he wouldn't of made a push for a guy who would play 20 games and then retire or go back to his former team. Had it been Higgins, a 1st, 2nd and 3rd for Hossa, I'd believe it, wouldn't like it, but I'd believe it because Hossa would in all likelihood return as a Hab(Gainey wouldn't make this trade unless he had some sort of guaranteeHossa re-signs for at least 1 year).

    If this article was printed at this time next year, I'd believe it because I have a feeling Gainey will do whatever it takes to get a 25th Cup in the 100th year.

  15. Radio says:

    Bryan Murray offered Emery and Gerber to the Hawks for Knabby and Lalime.

    Knabby was injured at the time so…

    Lalime starting again for the Sens?

    Oh boy.

  16. mojo19 says:

    That’s fair, a lot of people have problems the Sun, but the fact is, their sports coverage is excellent. The people who make things up are typically Garrioch and Strachan. But I actually believe that they aren’t making up bullshit, but actually reporting what they hear. Whether what they hear is bullshit or not is a different story.

    However, Gainey was interested in an “impact player” during those GM meetings he made those comments. Which tells me he was trying to get one of Hossa or Sundin. That comes straight from Gainey, so I think he did try to make a push for the cup this year but when Sundin took himself off the market and the asking price became too high for Hossa, Gainey decided to stand pat.

  17. mojo19 says:

    Haha, ya I heard about that. I imagine if it wasn't Lalime but another goalie of similar calibre that deal may have gone down.

  18. Habs_pm says:

    Thank god Mats Sundin stayed in Toronto! (Too bad for Leaf Fans)
    Sundin not waiving that NTC set them back 2-3 years. Enjoy Leaf fans! No more playoffs for the next 2-3 years. Maybe you will finish dead last next year and get a shot a John Tavares!?

    Another deal was:


    Jeff Carter
    1st Round Pick

    That deal would have been good both ways.

    I'm glad Higgins is still a Canadien. Sundin comming to Montreal could have done damage to the chemistry Montreal has.

    What about Saku Koivu? Was he gonna play on the 3rd line? Don't think so.

    Who knows if all this is true.

    Pittsburgh made a mistake by giving up what they did for Hossa. They can't even re-sign Hossa because they need to sign Fluery,Malkin,Staal. Thats like $12-14 Million right there.

    Hossa will hit the UFA market.

  19. mojo19 says:

    There was also a deal on the table from the Red Wings, although I can't find anywhere what it was, this Toronto Sun article says it required Sundin to sign a 2 year extension with Detroit. So if that deal were true, I imagine it would have been a huge return since Sundin wouldn't have been a rental in that scenario. But I guess its all moot now.

  20. Habfanforever says:

    Even so, he is still a rental. Also from a Hab standpoint, sending an up and coming great forward to a divisional rival isin't justification enough.

     It's hard to imagine what Sundin would do in a habs uniform. What would he do when he faced the Leafs?

  21. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree. It was a win win win situation. If Sundin truly cared about the Leafs as he claimed he would have let himself be traded, thus totally helping the Leafs for not only next year but the future by 1) getting a huge return on the trade and 2) tanking the Leafs to pick up a Top 3 pick. He would also have gotten some playoff experience, and perhaps finally gotten to the Finals, and who knows, won a Cup for himself. An experience that would surely help him and rub off on his teammates when he rejoined the Leafs. He would have been able to re-sign with the Leafs in the off-season, just as Marian Hossa can now, and look at the return the Thrashers still got. (Of course Hossa won't go back to Atlanta, but that's neither here nor there.)
    The only downside I could see is some idiots getting angry at him for "abandoning" the team, whereas I think the general public and media would have applauded his unselfish move.

    But those are just my thoughts and I don't live in Toronto.

  22. BruMagnus says:

    Gainey actually implied that his team isn't ready to win this year and moreso that he doesn't even want the team to win this year?? WTF!?

    If Hossa or Sundin would have won the Habs the Cup, whatever return would have been justified and applauded.
    But above people are right, the Habs aren't strong enough to win it this year, or even next year. I still don't think they get outta the first round unless they win their division.. and even then… (unless it's Boston, lol)

  23. BruMagnus says:

    Which Eastern teams would you rank ahead of the Habs?

  24. BruMagnus says:

    I also cannot find the details to that deal. I wish we could hear about all the possible deals that almost happened, but I totally understand why we don't. Still sucks though.

  25. leafy says:

    Actually, of all people, Don Cherry was the only guy who evaluated the Sundin story correctly!

    In a recent "Coach's Corner", Cherry said the main reason Sundin didn't waive his trade-clause is simply because his body cannot handle another 2 months grind, which is the reality of the Stanley cup playoffs.

    It's known that Sundin has an arthritic hip and his body is not what it used to be.  Cherry added that if Sundin DID waive his NTC, his career would be over much earlier.

    And Cherry concluded by calling Sundin "smart" for looking after his playing career.

    It has virtually nothing to do with Sundin caring about the team or his appetite for a Cup.  Health is the key issue here, which most media and fans have overlooked (including myself).

  26. HABSSTAR says:

    Well thank God that it didn't happen.  That's all the Habs would need is another John LeClair coming back to beat them over the head with their trade for the next 10 years.

  27. HABSSTAR says:

    They'll make it out of the first round guaran-damn-teed if they play Philly, Boston, Buffalo, or any other team in 7-8th place.   They will probably make it out of the first round if they have to play the Pens because, let's face it, the Pens goaltending is a joke.  They're chances of making out of the first round go down, but not out of reach if they play Ottawa or the Rangers.  Both have given Montreal fits this year but I think the Ranger thing is done after that huge comeback, and Ottawa has a long history of losing to teams in the playoffs that they owned in the regular season…Toronto.   NJ is the only real run killer for the Habs in the East and I say that only because they have THE GOALIE.  Besides that Montreal's chances of coming out of the East this year are as good as anybody else's.  

    Sure some young teams fold in the playoffs…others go on to win the Cup because they're too young and dumb to know they shouldn't.  

  28. all_hopes_cauterize says:

    another deal that fell through because of a NTC was something like this:

    To San Jose: Pavel Kubina
    To Toronto: Kyle McLaren + A Mid-Level Prospect OR a Second/Third-Round Draft Pick.

    I can't remember which it was, but i know i remember reading about this.

  29. habs_punk says:

    I would say that is more of a statement about the depressing state of Toronto's newspaper sports coverage than about how good the Sun is.

  30. CofRED says:

    Excellent point.  I still look at next year though.  If Sundin were to have left and re-signed with the Leafs, great, he could have helped them out a lot with that.  However, come next year's trade deadline, when the Leafs are near the bottom again, the Toronto fans/media would be calling for him to be traded again for more picks and prospects.

    "He was happy enough to do it last year, why not do it again??"

    And you know that's exactly what would have happened.  So each year the Leafs bomb, there goes another shot at retiring a Leaf, which is apparently what he wants to do.

  31. DandoEagle says:

    no way is sundin worth that much! i wouldnt trade a first for this guy never mind higgins. i would only offer up ryder (he too is a free agent), bouillon as the leafs need d help, a 2nd and maybe another prospect like corey locke. 38 year old centres who are beaten and broken are not worth anything much

    he is one of the many old geezer has beens from toronto that cant deliver when it matters most. we dont need a seven million dollar 3rd line centre. we have koivu who isnt great but at least a much more better captain and plekanec who is a star who can do everything sundin can but is way young and comes way cheaper and has way more potetial. .

    sundin would have ruined the chemistry on the habs. we know he is a selfish guy as seen by him not agreeing to get traded only thinking of himself not the leafs. we dont need a greedy me first guy who gets hurt all the the time.

    then again, he could actually perform and learn how to win on a real team and away from the lousy leafs.

  32. habs_punk says:

    That's more than a little obvious. Fishing for a Habs fan to rank the Pens above the Habs. Pitiful. The amount of effort you spend on trying to find people to support your sentiments reeks of desperation.

  33. habsrock99 says:

    Can you name a team that missed the Play-Offs one year and won the Cup the very next season? Off the top of my head, I can't. Maybe the 93-94 Rangers but I'm not too sure. Gainey knows as well as the more intelligent Habs fans that this is not the Habs year. Next year is. The 100th Anniversary is enough to get any team motivated enough to win the Cup. Gainey even said his goal was to win the Cup in 08-09(said that back in 2003). That's the whole reasoning behind Huet getting traded, to give Price the taste of the Play-Offs this year so that he gets the hunger for the Cup.

    I'll admit it, we got lucky in 86 but the whole purpose in giving Roy the reigns was to give him the taste, he happend to get greedy and stole the whole damn show(Ronald Corey's goal was to win the Cup in 88-89). We shouldn't of won in 86(Calgary should've) and we should of won in 89, that was the plan.

    Gainey comes in 2003, says he wants to Cup in 08-09. The whole purpose in Gainey going after Hossa was to get him, sign him and win with him next year. If we win this year, bonus but the goal will remain to win it in 08-09.

    BTW, the Habs are good enough to make the Finals, especially now that Carbo's made the lines the way they are and is FINALLY rolling 3 solid scoring lines and throwing the 4th on the ice to give the other 3 a quick breather here and there. Will they make the Finals, likely not but they do have a 1 in 8 chance, just like the Pens, Sens, Rangers, Flyers, Bruins, Devils and Canes(the Canes are a 1 in 8 longshot).

  34. mojo19 says:

    But the Sun and the Star are very good. I think anyone who reads them can agree on that.

  35. mojo19 says:

    Bouillon has no trade value though. Ryder, a pending UFA close to 30 wouldn't interest a team trying to trade away such players.

    Higgins and 3 picks would have been fair.

  36. markjohnston says:

    I would pick the following (eastern) teams as more likely to win the cup this year than the habs.

    – NJ (even though I *****ing hate them)
    – Ottawa (bad stretch doesn't ruin a great team)
    – Penguins (youth, crosby, new leader malkin)
    – Carolina (experience)

    I would put montreal 5th. yes, I know that they are 2nd in regular season standings, but I would still pick those teams ahead of them in the playoffs.

    don't forget they have to beat whoever the west sends as well.

    by the way, I will be cheering for the habs this playoff season in the East since the Leafs will be out. I hope they can pull a cup out this season, but I really think their cups are in the future, not this season.

  37. LeafsNation91 says:

    Don't forget Pavel Kubina, he was supposed to go to San Jose for Kyle McLaren…

  38. Jenkinstein says:

    Sundin is an amazing player, the only reason many people still follow the leafs after their past few seasons. And get your head out of your a$$ about montreal being a real winning team.   This is the first season in ten years they've led the division (Ottawa has owned the northeast since 1998), and out of the last ten seasons, Mtl has made the playoffs only three times (Ottawa by comparison, made it ten times), never getting past the second round (Ottawa twice;).  Ever since Ottawa entered the league they have evolved beyond you to the point where you are nothing but their whipping boys, and when Gillet moves the team to the US in 2021, there will be no recent history to look back and smile on.  Les habitants sont mort, mes amis.  Im just fishing for an argument here people, any is welcome.

  39. Habfanforever says:

    There's a changing of the guard, the Sens led the east for 10 years, did nothing now its different teams that might be up to the task. Montreal, Pittsburgh

  40. BruMagnus says:

    Interesting. First time I've heard of this, too.
    Just shows Sundin isn't the beast people think he is, perhaps explains his lack of playoff success, perhaps not.
    Perhaps had he been traded he wouldn't have gotten injured, perhaps not.
    It's all stupid speculation anyways. But anyways, if he did care so much for his team, he'd have sacrificed what's left of his career for that massive return. Wouldn't you have loved Higgins and a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick in return? even if it meant Sundin had to retire or was subpar next season?

  41. BruMagnus says:

    I thought Sundin was going to play 3-4 more years and push for 700 goals, at least according to Leafs fans…

  42. BruMagnus says:

    You do realize that Fleury is outplaying both Habs goalies of late, right?

    Fleury is 4-1-1 in his last 6, with over a .950 sv%, and going back to his last 6 games before injury, he's something like (of the top of my head) 9-2-1 with a .965% ….
    the Habs goaltending is the real joke, by which I mean inexperienced and ready to get pounded in the 1st round.
    I do agree the Habs would beat the above 3 mentioned teams, and the Caps were they to make it, but that's it.

  43. BruMagnus says:

    Only a pitiable creature like you would come to such a conclusion. I pity you.

  44. BruMagnus says:

    Thanks for your mature response (unlike some Habs fans on here).

    I agree that many people may be cutting Carolina short. And they aren't even playing with Brind'amour.

    What about the NY Rangers? On paper, they are a Cup Champion.

  45. BruMagnus says:

    So now I've gotta ask, which Western teams of the 8 current playoff teams, do you think could?

  46. markjohnston says:

    I would rank the habs ahead of the rangers – I'd say 60/40 habs.

    if jagr wakes up and lundqvist can deliver, they're probably better than the habs this year.

  47. markjohnston says:

    anaheim, detroit (habs v. detroit would be a good series), san jose, calgary, dallas for sure.

    I don't see enough of minnie to know – vancouver and montreal I would rate about equal (with the luongo factor obviously).

    I like mtl better as a team…but…luongo

  48. mojo19 says:

    Yeah! I was just about to mention the Rangers before I saw you wrote that. The Rangers could be a dark horse in the East for sure. All they need is to get hot and hope Lunqvist can steal a couple against stronger teams. Their biggest concern will be defense, I guess.

  49. mojo19 says:

    Good comments Jenkinstein, but Ottawa hasn't completely owned the NE since '98. Boston has lead a couple times, Buffalo has lead, and Toronto has also. The only team that hasn't is Montreal and this could be their year.

  50. lukeleim says:

    imagine if all the deals involving Toronto's NTC contracts went through:

    Tomas Kaberle to the Philadelphia Flyers for Jeff Carter and the Flyers' 1st round draft pick of 2008.

    Mats Sundin to the Montreal Canadiens for Christopher Higgins and the Canadiens' 1st, 2nd and 3rd round draft picks of 2008.

    Pavel Kubina to the San Jose Sharks for Kyle McLaren and the Sharks' 3rd round pick of 2008.

    remainder of the season lineup:

    Christopher Higgins – Jeff Carter – Nik Antropov
    Jason Blake – Matt Stajan – Darcy Tucker
    Alexei Ponikarovsky – Alexander Steen – Kyle Wellwood
    Mark Bell – Dominic Moore – Jiri Tlusty
    Boyd Devereaux (injured)

    Bryan McCabe – Carlo Colaiacovo
    Kyle McLaren – Anton Stralman
    Andy Wozniewski – Ian White

    Vesa Toskala
    Andrew Raycroft

    Clearly the Maple Leafs would have some work in the summer.


    2008 NHL Entry Draft

    Trade Alexei Ponikarovsky and Kyle Wellwood to the Chicago Blackhawks for Brent Seabrook and Ben Eager

    buyout Andrew Raycroft and Mark Bell

    July 1st

    Resign Matt Stajan two-year contract 3.4 million
    Resign Jeff Carter six-year contract 24 million
    Resign Dominic Moore one-year contract 800,000

    Sign Curtis Joseph one-year contract 800,000
    Sign Mats Sundin one-year contract 5 million

    Alexander Steen – Mats Sundin – Nik Antropov
    Christopher Higgins – Jeff Carter – Jiri Tlusty
    Jason Blake – Matt Stajan – Darcy Tucker
    Ben Eager – Dominic Moore – Boyd Devereaux
    Kris Newbury

    Bryan McCabe – Brent Seabrook 
    Kyle McLaren – Anton Stralman
    Carlo Colaiacovo – Ian White
    Staffan Kronwall

    Vesa Toskala
    Curtis Joseph
    Justin Pogge

Leave a Reply