Report: Sundin to Sign Soon

According to and the Toronto Sun, it appears the Toronto Maple Leafs and captain Mats Sundin are closing in on the new contract that has long been rumoured to be happening this summer.


It appears to be a 2 year contract worth 11 million. This will make for a 5.5 million cap hit for the Leafs. These have been the numbers that have been talked about for quite some time, but finally this deal may be finalized.

The issue is of course Sundin’s health and age which are both questionmarks considering the Leaf captain has had to carry the team on his back for years. It may be catching up to him. So it is hard to say whether he is a $5 plus million dollar player in a cap world.

This has been pretty much a split debate. Some will feel his age, health and him just being a point per game player, no more no less, means he does not warrant being paid like a to 10-20 player in the NHL. Others will feel him being saddled with no talent around him, plus being the face of the franchise that he deserves to be paid well for all that he has done as a Leaf. These have been the ideals of the Leafs organization for years and years and unless there is dramatic change, there is almost no chance the Leafs ways will change any time soon.

Right now the Leafs payroll for next season is hovering at around #37 million. With cap projections expected to be around $48-49 million, the Leafs have some room, but not much. The team has 18 players under contract and plenty of holes to fill on a team that has missed the playoffs for two consecutive years.

Under contract:

Goal: Raycroft
Defence: Mccabe, Kaberle, Gill, Kubina, White, Wozniewski
Forward: Tucker, Stajan, Steen, Pohl, Ponikarovsky, Newbury, Belak, Kilger, Wellwood, Devereaux, (Sundin when the contract is done)

RFAs: Coliacovo
UFAs: Peca, Oneill, Antropov, Aubin, Perreault, Green, Battaglia

They need a backup goalie. Raycroft cannot play 70 games again. If his confidence is shot he may not even be good enough to play in the NHL period.

They could use improvements on defence but with half their payroll tied to the blueline, they are pretty much out of options.

They need 2 top line forwards and forwards who can add grit, toughness, faceoff prowess and penalty killing.

Heck the team actually needs a new president, a new GM, new uniforms (all teams need new uni’s for the new material), better ticket prices, less of a presence on National TV, and pretty much new everything if they ever want to turn things around and at least give themselves a half decent chance to break their Stanley Cup drought.

Common sense says that because the team has accomplished nothing in 40 years, something has to give. Pretty much anything short of a complete makeover of the entire team from top to bottom will not be enough to change the team’s fortunes. I guess that may be far too much to ask from a team with so many owners and so many hands in the cookie jar jerking the team in every which way possible.

The Sundin pending signing is a perfect example of this. There is no one in the organization with enough power, guts or respect to be willing to make change. Status quo is the norm in Toronto, which explains clearly their extended futility. Sundin is a great player, but it’s time the Leafs swallow their pride and start from scratch.

43 Responses to Report: Sundin to Sign Soon

  1. lindrosfan says:

    Please.. no.. no more Sundin.. we need someone "new" to start carrying us. I know that for the last few years he HAS been our best player, but now he's just a has been falling down the ranks quite quickly (1 goal in last 20 some games). JFJ, save your money and get a great player or two good players for that 5.5 mil. per year. I heard that guys named Briere and Drury will be available, those are guys you can build around.

    Unless JFJ has an ace up his sleeve and he's able to make a blockbuster trade (McCabe willing to waive NTC or Kubina) for a good player or prospect, this signing will be nothing but bad news.

  2. LeafyMcLeaf says:


  3. FarFromFreedom says:

    good job by JFJ to get his contract extension for 6.3 cap hit to 5.5 .. i personally think if Sundin wants to win he should sign for 3.5 in on July 1st. so the Leafs could go out and pick up players like Drury and Blake along with a goalie like Backstrom .. what do you have? a team that will contend for the cup. but Sundin obv wont wanna have players like McCabe and Kubina making more money then him when hes the franchise player. yes Age is catching up to him but he deserves to win in Toronto .. it would be stupid if he didnt win in Toronto .. his heart is here and its gonna stay like it or not Leaf fans. during that 20 game goaless drought .. Sundin was 2nd!! i repeat 2nd in league scoring with 1 goal and 24 assists only behind Sid The Kid .. Sundin can still play and he'll show everyone once he gets a star winger on his line. good job by JFJ if this is the case. Cant wait for July 1!!!

  4. beefjerky says:

    The way I see it, JFJ can either pay sundin 5.5 million, or gomez briere drury 6.5+, which would be just ridiculous. Sundin was a point per game player last year playing with two guys (antro/poni) that, lets face it, should not be anywhere near a first line. The only reason that people want Sundin out is some sort of symbolic gesture that times are changing, when really it would just be silly to get rid of him and shell out loads of cash for Drury or Gomez (who are good but not worth the money they will inevitably get) Lets not forget the ridiculous contracts handed out last free agency (7.5 mil for chara, 5 for kubina, 6.5 for jovo, 3.5 for mitchell etc) and the fact that montreal just gave andrei markov 5.75 million…the 4 or 5 solid forwards that are going to be UFAs are gonna get huge, huge contracts, a lot more than 11 over 2 years.

    As far as firing everybody is concerned, I have mixed feelings. I can't stand the MLSE, that's for sure. JFJ, even if he sounds like an idiot, is actually changing the way the leafs approach scouting/drafting/developing, which is a good thing, so at least give him credit for that.

    This 40 years business is irritating as well considering Harold Ballard was around until the early 90s (look him up people)

    Anyway, lets not forget that the leafs had 91 points (1 point out of the playoffs) losing more man games than any other team (tucker, wellwood, peca for most of the season) and the WORST starting goalie in the league. I think that says something about the team. Im willing to admit the team needs a new attitude/approach and some new blood (and please god a new goalie), but as it stands they are the 10th youngest team in the league and suddenly have some decent young players in the lineup and on the way. Suddenly firing everybody after a couple of close call seasons isn't going to help anybody…lets not forget everybody thought Darcy Regier was an idiot just a couple of season ago, long term GMs lamerello (thats gotta be spelled wrong) and Ken Holland aren't doing too bad either. JFJ has been in complete control (aka quinn-less) for 1 year, give him another summer at least, even if hes made a few mistakes (Rask for Raycroft comes to mind)

    Anyway sorry that was long as hell, I needed my leaf-vent fix.

  5. Glucker says:

    hahahahaha looser

  6. Hoondog2 says:

    Can you find someone in free agency for 5 million that is better?  The answer is simply no, so you sign him up, its a no brainer.  I don't get how getting rid of Sundin shows that the Leafs are headed in a new direction.  75 % of our players are different than 2 years ago, yet the only way we are headed in a new direction is to get rid of Mats?  Unbelievable!!!!

  7. Leafinc says:

    First off i don't know why all the Sundin bashing is needed. At 5.5 a yr would be a great deal for a guy with sundin's skill.  Personally i was hoping for somethin less and more creative, example signin him to 3yrs at an average of 4mill a yr and have the first 2yrs loaded with more money.  So somethin like 6-4-2 and the cap hit would be only 4mill and if sundin retires after yr 2 the hit is off the cap.  However, Jfj doesn't seem bright enough to be creative.  So at $5.5 a yr it looks a lot, might seem a lot but its a fare deal talent wise, and i would pay sundin 5.5 then berier or gomez 6.5 minimum and build some talent around sundin with the extra funds. Right now this is what the team is lookin like:

    LW                   C                      RW
                      Sundin (5.5)         2
    Poni (2.1)     Welly (.9)                3           /Antropov (1.5)
    Steen (.75)   Stajan (.85)          Tucker (3)
    kilger (.9)     Pohl (.47)             Devx (.6)
    Belak (.625)


    Kabby (4.25)      Kubina (5)
    McCabe (5.75)    Coli (.9) (hasn't signed but probably will around there)
    Gill (2)               White (.85)
    Waz (.45)


    Razor (2)
    total = 37

    There is 4 spots to fill with about 11mill left

    Backup goalie should be no more then a mill and possibly a vet so: Cujo -750,000
    Antropov could be bak and would fit well with poni & welly at 1.5mill

    If Peca remains (Note peca should be kept a solid Vet with good PK and D)
    (Personally i think a trade is needed a solid winger an a more gritty D man so a trade like stajan, player and gill for torres and smith would help the leafs.  Then if this happens then sign Peca for 1.5mill)

    Now this leaves the Leafs with 8-9mill with the top 2 spots to fill (not includin peca deal)

    Signing possibles


    These are possible players that can be placed in the 2 spots giving the leafs a TOP number one line with Mats.

    So there is potential for the leafs its up to JFJ to make somethin out of it.
    However a trade is needed Peca would fit in better at the 3rd line center spot then Stajan and Pohl fills in with the offensive touch. So bottom line Sundin at $5.5mill is better then Breire or Gomez at 6.5+ mill because it will help us ice a better overall team.

    If i could make reasonable changes this is what the line-up would look like:

    Traded Players
    2nd/3rd pikz

    New players


    Hartnell    Sundin     Karyia
    Torres      Welly       Hedujk
    Steen       Pohl        Tucker
    Kilger       Peca        Devx

    Kabby    Kubina
    McCabe  White
    Coli        Smith


    This team would be under the cap

  8. DoubleDown says:

    so, you'll take sundin at 5.5
    but you wont take younger, better players at $1 million more?
    i think the Leafs should lose sundin because he's not a centrepiece anymore…he's a second tier player now
    hopefully theres no NTC so if the season tanks, JFJ can bring in some assets for him

  9. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    a point per game is second tier. also, 10 teams are going after 3 star centers, what if the leafs get neither. you cant remove him altogether, you have to ease him out.

  10. KingCanada says:

    If Sundin REALLY wanted to win a cup hed stop being so greedy and sign for less, money SHOULD NOT be an issue for him now, his career is winding down, hes a rich man, close to 40, and doesnt have many shots left at winning the cup.  If he was to sign for less the leafs would be able to sign more/better players to help him win the cup here in Toronto since he seems to be too stubborn to win it elsewere.  In typical Leafs fashion, if we had this extra money the leafs could sign his countryman Peter Forsberg (yes hes a risk, but like i said, typical Leafs fashion ie Lindros, Allison, Niwendyk, etc) and then Sundin would have that wingman hes always been lookin for that is if Forsberg is comfterbal playin wing instead of his natural center position.

    Everyone believes Sundin is bleeding blue and white and is an amasing captain, but i not too sold on it..  Has anyone ever wondered that maybe hes just a homebody and is comfterbal living here in Toronto? i know i am i love it here.  Just look at the signs, hes kind of shy, doesnt lead with his mouth, leads with his play, heck hes not even married, no kids and hes almost 40… im not dogging him i just think that people should look at other variables also, he might just be money hungry and realise that Toronto loves him and will pay him watever he wishes no questions asked, why? becose hes "earned it" by playing here for so long.

  11. Antero says:

    you wanna trade Kronwall and Williams away.
    why is it the second the leafs get some good prospects their fans want them traded away ?

    just because things look good in NHL 07 doesn't mean they add up in real life.
    the leafs are a brand, as well as a hockey team.
    you can't change a brand that dramatically.
    you can't just trade away like nine players in one off-season.
    the continuity of the brand has to remain.
    why do you think the leafs only sign low-impact, mediocre players each year ?
    lindros, o neil, peca, raycroft, perrault.

    don't expect big changes from the leafs.
    they signed sundin (assuming).
    the rest is going to be a tweak here, and a tweak there.
    JFJ feels with this roster he would have made the playoffs this year had it not been for injuries.
    he isn't going to go selling the farm to push for the off-season.
    again, settling for mediocrity to save the brand.

  12. thatleafsguy says:

    Drury and Briere are no where near better players than Sundin.

  13. Hoondog2 says:

    I'm guessing by your name that a European captain will never be good enough.

    Sundin has "earned it" because he has been the scoring leader of this team for 11 of 12 years.  He has been a solid leader, classy player, and has put up with people like you questioning his ability since he got traded for a popular "Canadian" captain named Wendel Clark.

  14. KingCanada says:

    Classy player yes agreed, solid leader not too sure, back in the day when we were winning we had gary roberts, it was common consensus that HE was the locker room leader, he then left becose the leafs didnt want to sign his past-his-prime best bud Joe Nieuwendyk.  Correct me if im wrong but since Roberts LEFT the leafs, we have not made the playoffs, coincidence?

    Im basically just saying if he wants to EARN a stanley cup with the leafs, hell have to EARN a smaller salary period.

  15. Glucker says:

    well, according 2 jfj 8 players will b moved

    and eklund seems to agree… although… it IS Eklund… so… just rumors, none of it cement yet but according to him… this will be 'the summer of toronto' (i think hes trying to get more ppl to sign up to his blog, make more money)

  16. Glucker says:

    umm… we made the playoffs b4 roberts came… and he left cuz of the cap… he still wants to be a leaf… and the fact is, he coulda asked for more if he wanted to, leafs would have paid him whatever he wanted.. his previous salary was 6.3, he went down to 5.5…. that qualifies as a cut, no?

  17. Glucker says:

    how do you know he doesnt lead with his mouth? are you in the leaf's dressing room during the games?

    the guy isnt comfortable living in TO, he leaves for Sweden every chance he gets… thats where his family is… hell he went to sweden for a check-up instead of just going to a doc here…
    hes not married… so? what does that have to do with anything :S all that means is that he doesnt cheat on his wife like all the other hockey players do, lol.

    seriously man… hes good, he gave the leafs a discount… dont complain

  18. Hoondog2 says:

    I've heard a lot of the players say that the chemistry in the room is the best it has ever been.  I'm guessing it is mostly because of Sundin.

    I find it hard to believe that if Wellwood was in the whole season, we wouldn't have got that 1 more win we needed to get a playoff spot.  Sure Roberts left, but one could argue that, since Berg left they haven't made the playoffs!  The truth of the matter is when Roberts left, so did a lot of other key components to the "old" team (pun intended), but a lot of promising, yet inexperienced players have come in. 

    One interesting note, Steve Yzerman's leadership abilities were always in question in Detroit, up until the day he won a cup, the only difference is Detroit found the right support players to do it.  Now, no one questions his leadership.

  19. buds8 says:

    Good posting until the suggestion that a new uniform is need, I hope that was a joke!

    I have been saying it the entire off-season…..same team as last year….Mats will be resigned as will Peca, they may let O'Neill go and sign a tier 2 or 3 player that most of us fans will be happy about and consider a tier 1 player….the defence IMO is actually pretty good and I think if they kepe the forwards together they will mature a little more and mesh…a complete make-over is totally out of the question with untradeable contracts…so we are stuck with what we have….which in my opinion is not that bad…..the Rangers are proof that not going after all the UFA's and opting to allow a team to grow and mesh is a much viable and succeful option!

    My only suggestion is try and get a new goalie, Rayzor will be back but maybe they can make a pitch for Weekes who Maurice had in Carolina and is a local boy, he will take over the #1 spot by mid-November!






    Not a bad line-up IMO….and the best we're gonna be able to ice in the circumstances.


  20. jpmac says:

    So you are going to trade stajan poni and gill for torres and smith that is an alright deal, then you are going to trade kronwall 2/3 rd and williams, do you honestly believe that colorado is that stupid???

  21. JuicemaN says:

    You know nothing about Sundin, you're only old enough to have seen him for what…4 years…you have no idea what Sundin brings to that team; you see a slump at the end of last season and think "it's time for him to go"…if you can go and find a guaranteed PPG (point per game) player for just over 5 million I'd like to see him.

  22. JuicemaN says:

    Briere or Drury can't do what Sundin does…nobody can keep the puck away from the leagues top players like Sundin can….Sundin owns the dressing room and he's done nothing but earn this contract.

    how is a definite point per game a 2nd tier player?

  23. JuicemaN says:

    Eklund is an idiot.

  24. JuicemaN says:

    Hejduk is garbage….still thriving off playing with forsberg in his better years. Hejduk is a glorified Hoglund….ok maybe I went too far but Hejduk needs a top superstar to play well….even playing with Sakic he hasn't been doing that well.

    although he did turn it up towards the end of the season last year.  Still, that would be the last leaf jersey I would buy if we traded for him.

  25. BruMagnus says:

    Crosby and Malkin make less than 4 million and are guaranteed PPG players.


  26. BruMagnus says:

    I was wondering the same question as there are only roughly 35 such players currently in the League.

  27. BruMagnus says:

    Eklund is worse than thesource (of HTR).

  28. nordiques100 says:

    ha! you missed that part where i said all teams need new uniforms because of the new sweat free material they are implementing next season. you know the ones they demonstrated at the allstar game? thats why i said new uni's.

    to me, no one is really untradeable. they may  not be tradeable for good value but they can be moved. its all dependent on how they work it. i mean the devil somehow managed to get a team to take malakhov and his 4 mil contract. all they did was to piggyback a 1st round pick with that.

    or when fedorov was traded to the jackets. the ducks behind the scenes claimed todd marchant and his 3 million per year contract off waivers when in all likelihood they wouldnt. but that was likely part of the deal. thats how they made that work.

    you'll never get fair value for the player you're trading away. i mean say they would move kubina. a top 4 blueliner indeed, but you'd probably end up in return with a wade belak calibre blueliner, and perhaps piggybacking a pick or a prospect. that is an example. its not the greatest outcome for any team who wishes to dump a contract, it certainly wont make your team any better, but thats how it has to be in the cap world.

    i wouldnt quite use the rangers as an example. they did afterall build around jagr with straka, shanny, nylander, malik, rosival among other who were aquired via free agency. only lundqvist was a draft pick among their core players. they just started their drafting ways and not all of them have made it. soon they most certainly will but that will take time. they just happened to sign the right guys who fit well chemistry wise.
    mt thinking has always been that if you want young players to get better, you should surround them with good talent. i say look at matthew lombardi from calgary. he was expected to be a big scorer but didnt score much at all in his first few years. then he got to play more with the guys like tanguay, iginla, conroy and suddenly he looks like a really good prospect. he also shined on a top line at hte worlds for canada playing with very good talent.

    when he was moving along playing with the byron ritchies of the world, of course the ptoential didnt show. for the leafs its the same. they have some good young guys but if they played with some serious talent and not with guys like john pohl, kilger (who was their 2nd line LW) battaglia etc who are good role players at best, they would prosper much better. i dont think the leaf younger players will get that much better unless they are surrounded with better talent.

  29. KingCanada says:

    actually his team option this year was for 5,32 but would have had a cap hit of 6.3 becose its the average pay of the contract so technically he got a raise but its less on cap hit so everyone wins.

  30. KingCanada says:

    dude its common knowledge that sundin leads by example, im just saying wat everyone else has been saying over the years im not pulling anything out of my a$$.  as for him leaving for sweden of course hell always leave thats were hes from, ALL europeans do this with the exception of a few russians.

    I was just trying to raise a few points and make u guys think about those variables too, i wasnt ACCUSING sundin of anything i just thought it would be interesting to see it from the flip side, becose hell, it is possible

    If he wanted a cup and took a paycut like ALFREDDSON did a few years back, and heck look were the senators are now.

  31. Leafinc says:

    The players mentioned are players that can be used as trade bait.  Hedujk is a solid average paid star who is still fairly young at age 30.  He did start off slow but finished really strong and would look good with welly or sundin in the middle.

  32. buds8 says:

    agreed…..Steen played much better as did both Antropov and Ponikarovsky when put on a line with Mats.

    Guess we'll see…..

  33. bleeds_blue_n_white says:

    Very well said. I agree, Sundin may have had a goal drought, but makes those he plays with better. 24 Assists, playing with Antropov and Ponikarovsky, only shows how great a player Sundin still is.

    Also, it amazes me the amount of JFJ bashing out there. As you pointed out, he has only been without Quinn for 1 season. Before that, the Leafs were still run by Quinn, not JFJ. All personnel decisions had Quinn's fingerprints all over them. Belfour resigning, Sundin Contract, O'Neill, Lindros, Allison. These are all Quinn guys.

    Let's look at JFJ so far

    1. Moved farm team to Toronto. Better able to scout and evaluate talent. (great move, but painfully obvious. why did this not happen earlier?)
    2. Fired Medical Team – all Quinn's guys, blamed for mishandling of Lindros handling, but then look at this past year's team and their injuries. (Good move to get rid of the old, bad move in who they hired)
    3. Drafting. Under JFJ we have drafted Pogge, Rask, Tlusty, Kulemin, Earl, and Strahlman. Getting better.
    4. Retention of Young Talent – Only traded Brendan Bell and Rask so far. So he is doing well keeping his young talent and finding them playing time.
    5. Hiring Paul Maurice, a coach who embraces the Development of youth philosophy.
    6. Expanding the scouting department. I forget the particulars, but I believe they hired 3 new scouts this year.
    7. Strong Team Chemistry. It seems that the days of the divided dressing room is gone. (See Shane Corson & Alex Mogilny, and other divisive cliques that seem to have disappeared)
    8. A much faster brand of hockey in T.O. – The Leafs were a faster, more flowing team to watch this year under Maurice, and all indications are that they are going to get faster and more skilled with some of the youth that is projected to join the team in the next 2 seasons.

    All in all, not a bad GM, and managed to get some strong foundation building moves through while still handcuffed with/by Pat Quinn.

    Now before anyone starts blasting away, I am not judging Pat Quinn as a coach or GM, but pointing out that while Pat Quinn was still in T.O., even without the GM hat, he was the one running the day to day personnel decisions. Therefore, it is not fair to blame JFJ for moves that Pat Quinn directed/forced etc.

    Just my $0.02

  34. Glucker says:

    just wait till  you have to resign them for league max each XD

  35. Glucker says:

    well, i believe he does know ppl in the industry, or else ppl from the NHL would have come out and said something like 'this guy is full of shit'… im sure his sources tell him what teams are considering and just because they consider it, doesnt mean it will happen…

  36. Glucker says:

    hes taking 4.5 next year and 6.5 the next year or something like that… so seeing as his average salary dropped, he took a cut 😛

  37. mojo19 says:

    Best Centres in the NHL. Top 10, no particular order:

    Crosby, Thornton, Lecavalier, Sakic, Sundin, Jokinen, Briere, Spezza, Savard, Forsberg (health permitting)

  38. BruMagnus says:

    I agree. it's a terrible position to be in. I'd much rather have a bunch of no names like the leafs.

  39. 92-93 says:

    Some people thought Kaberle was a bad signing too.

    Some people thought that Kubina and Gill were good signings.

    Now some people think that this is a bad signing.

    In any case, JFJ has made some good signings during his reign but his lack of creativity and his few bad signings really overshadows everything.


    what to make of this Sundin signing (if it is for 5.5 million). I really dont have a problem with it on the face of it. he is worth that much, he is still a point-per-game guy. and its only 2 years in length. He'll give the Leafs 70 pts the next 2 years barring injury (and the hip injury really has been overblown in a story-less Toronto market).

    BUT, i only have issues with him and his agent saying in the media that he loves toronto and wants to win a cup there and then not accepting less money. If he doesnt go on and on about winning a cup, i wouldnt be surprised about this signing, which on the fact of it, makes total sense.

    but its that juxtaposition of what they say and then what this signing is apparently going to be that really bugs me.

    Also, JFJ needed to be more creative here in terms of this signing. i think leaf fans – nords, myself, etc. – want to see this creativity finally happen. something that is going to clear cap space, fill some needs, add some prospect depth, etc.

    and right now, we are seeing status-quo type signings that make some of us real impatient. of course there is a neglect in this attitude: about the improving depth of the organization (as gradual as it is, regardless of what says) … and about the rising cap level.

    Its time for a new and more creative GM. i dont mind a GM that is creative and makes the odd bad move.

  40. BruMagnus says:

    Then why is he correct less than 10% of the time (far below my 75-90% average who has but a couple sources)?

    Eklund is a plant/mole.

  41. BruMagnus says:

    thanks for not only putting the pun in "quotations" but also calling it out in (brackets).

  42. BruMagnus says:

    I guess you consider Malkin a left winger then, because he is clearly better than Sundin and Savard.

  43. mojo19 says:

    If you want to put everyone who is a natural center as a centre, that's ton of more guys. Malkin played off and on centre this year. But I still wouldn't say he was better than Sundin or Savard this year. He probably will be next season, but he wasn't last season, all things considered.

Leave a Reply