Should Leafs Trade Sundin?

Should the Leafs trade Mats Sundin?

It really all depends on what plan John Ferguson has. No one really knows what he plans on doing to make the Leafs into a contender. If you believe the talk, it appears as though JFJ has been caught flatfooted and very offguard in this wild off-season so far. He has overestimated the players love for coming to Toronto and so has Richard Peddie who boldly stated that players would come here for less. The assumption that players would play for peanuts just to be a Leaf was very poor. He has inacurate in the value of the players vastly overpaying Ed Belfour who has only been a Leaf for two years and was old and chronically hurt, but trying to undercut Gary Roberts who has bled blue and white since he became a Leaf.

Ferguson’s decision to stand pat was based on the assumption that the likes of Roberts, Nieuwendyk and Domi would come back no matter what. He qualified all his RFAs no matter good players or not and he chose not to buy out any of his players except Owen Nolan keeping his payroll high but player count low.

He has always been preaching that the Leafs will compete but based on what we have seen and the roster that is current that seems like a longshot. If that was his plan, to keep the Leafs competitive and borderlining on Stanley cup contention then he has failed miserably. He foolishly committed nearly 5 million to keep his restricted free agents while other teams were buying out or not qualifying comparable players. He foolishly did not buy out Ed Belfour when there were other goalies out there who were younger and cheaper. And he foolishly overpaid on his current blueliners when none of them can be considered top notch defencemen.

So perhaps his plan was to stand pat this year and go for broke next year as they will have 30 plus million in cap room. That is all well and good if the top guys available dont sign long term deals already. But we have seen Pronger join the Oilers for 5 years and Iginla join the FLames for 3 more. And it is more than likely that Tampa and BOston respectively will hold on to their franchise players in Lecavalier and Thornton after investing so much time and money to help them be the players they are now. They themselves would be foolish to see them walk for nothing. But this plan is very shortsighted as we have seen guys re-sign with their own teams, we have seen guys shun the Leafs for much more obscure places like Florida and Columbus, who’s to say that wont happen again next summer?

Perhaps the plan all along was to rebuild from scratch and compete down the road. That was all well and good except now he has nothing to show for the Brian Leetch trade giving up 4 prospects and getting less than 30 games of services from the future hall of famer. He also has filled the bottom end of the roster with players that we know have not fared well in the NHL such as Berg, Kilger but yet he has decided to keep those players anyway possibly taking roster spots away from kids who need a chance like Wellwood, Steen and Coliacovo. The only good thing JFJ has done is surround himself and the team with very good hockey people like Barry Trapp, Shawn Simpson, Craig Button and Paul Maurice. Drafting and development should be a strong point for the Leafs going forward.

But if this is the road he is taking then lets get back to the question at hand. Should the Leafs trade Mats Sundin? If the plan is to rebuild then yes. Sundin is a terrific player still and probably has a few good years left in him. He is an elite player that could put a team over the top. His value is still high and the Leafs could fetch a very decent return for his services. A rebuilding plan would probably take up to 5 years to start seeing any dividends and really Sundin does not have that kind of time. So it probably would be smart for Toronto to move him out. His move out would probably start a chain reaction with other veterans on the roster who could possibly help teams down the road during the playoff races.

Now if Sundin is moved, where could he go? There definitely would be 29 other teams that would love to get him, but of course in this new NHL, salary cap concerns are the big key here. Teams have to be able to afford him in order to think about trading for him. It would be difficult to say who could get Sundin, but a team like the Panthers with the likes of Bouwmeester, Horton or Weiss to offer up is an option. Detroit could move Pavel Datsyuk to get the Leaf captain. The Hawks are loaded with young talent like Mark Bell, Kyle Calder, Cam Barker, Brent Seabrook among others whom they could package to get Sundin.

It would be hard to say where Sundin could go, but he should be gone if the Leafs are going to go with youth. His trade could net a return that could really forward the rebuilding process and really give Toronto something they have not had in quite a while, quality young players.


71 Responses to Should Leafs Trade Sundin?

  1. Mike_Palmateer says:

    Sorry I meant Desjardens had a reconstructed right arm not knee!!!

  2. Mike_Palmateer says:

    Sorry I meant Desjardens had a reconstructed right arm not knee!!!

  3. Scruffy05 says:

    Hey! No stealing my quarter!

  4. PTack says:

    Really now, was this post needed? I mean sure if it WAS funny and original it would be ok but come on you just told the same joke thats been posted hundreds of times.

    All of the Leaf bashers on here are looking more stupid everytime I come on this site. I’ve read this slightly altered joke like 20 times in the last 4 days, ***** you guys are unoriginal and repetative.

    If all of you Leaf haters are going to bash at least pace yourselves or come up with your own material because your bringing down the quality of this site. Now maybe its because a lot of the users are 13 years old or that its just that your retarded/Flyer fans, just come on, its getting old.

    …and Desertdog who likes Phoenix anyways.

  5. PTack says:

    hahaha i dont like Sundin

    …but i like him a little more now.

  6. gur28 says:

    ya, i’d love to see those guys back. and u’re right, it would be cheap to get them

  7. gur28 says:

    hahaha that made my day

  8. gur28 says:

    i’d hate to see sundin go but for the good of the team, i’d trade him to chicago. with him, i’d trade belfour too. in return, i’d try to get ruttu,bell, some young defenceman, and thiallbult (i think i spelt it wrong). that would be very good for toronto

  9. desertdog says:

    Maybe if you’d ever touched a real boobie instead of making love to your Mats Sundin poster, you wouldn’t get so upset………..and by the way “maple queef” is classic and will always be funny.

    And don’t be jealous of teams that have bright futures! HOOOOWWWWWWLLLLLLL, beeatch.

  10. big_booty says:

    Quite frankly, the Leafs are stuck with Sundin.

    While no one questions his talent, he is not the type of player who makes his teammates better. I seem to recall a great number of Leafers who seemed to believe that Mikael Renberg’s career was going to be resurrected by playing on Sundin’s wing.

    He is continually over-valued by both the Leafs front office and fan base. If he were a free agent, the only people arguing over how much he was worth would be John Ferguson, Pat Quinn, and Leaf_Expert.

    As for the “29 other teams that would love to get him,” ask any GM in the league and they would probably tell you that there are 10-15 centermen who they would rather have.

    Florida? Mike Keenan wouldn’t want Sundin when it would cost him that much – he would rather have Thorton.

    Detroit? “Stats” wouldn’t want to play second fiddle to Yzerman, nor would the Wings pony up a talent like Datsyuk for an older, more expensive player.

    Chicago? Doubtful they would want to give up the young talent they’ve been able to amass over the past couple of seasons, even though they are starting to finally spend the money.

    Like it or not, the Leafs and Sundin are joined at the hip. Not only won’t they trade him, but they can’t.

  11. Resmo112 says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA wings trade datsyuk who they can’t afford to pay 4 million to, for sundin who they’d have to pay 6.8 million to. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH

  12. Leafs88 says:

    I don’t think you know what you’re saying by criticizing the GM for not buyong out players. It’s not his money he is using…. He got orders from above that they don’t want any player bought out and that is what happened. Remember that Nolan wasn’t bought out because the considered him a UFA!

  13. Resmo112 says:

    how are they getting legace?

  14. Aetherial says:

    Just to confirm… renegotiating existing contracts was not allowed.

    The obvious reason was to prevent one or two teams from convincing everyont to get paid diddly for one year but make up a powerhouse roster that would wildly put competitive balance out of whack.

  15. Aetherial says:

    Yup.

    I think that was a VERY good decision in the negotiations.

    I can EASILY imagine a couple teams convincing everyone to take a pay cut so they could load up and basically comepletely F with the competitive balance. This will be MUCH harder to do in the future when there won’t be such a glut of free agents. There was a real danger of that happening this year though.

    Oh and BTW… I have been a huge supporter of Sundin’s. The guy has been a class act his whole career (‘cept for the stick in the stands brainfart last year) in a VERY difficult market to play in. He has produced consistently without quality wingers until Mogilny came along (past his prime). He has produced in the clutch and the playoffs. You never hear him say crap or trash talk or anything.

    I would love to see the Leafs trade him, but only to a serious contender so he could get the cup that he deserves.

  16. Aetherial says:

    Nice story, I like it 🙂

    I do not recall the Flyers beating the Leafs in a first round though? Maybe it was a second round?

  17. Aetherial says:

    Booty… I think if you look at his production and compare to the list of wingers he has had to play with during his career, you would see that he is simply one of the best players on the planet…

    He had no Bertuzzi, or Selanne, or Hedjuk or Hull Or Samsonov or Murray or Palffy playing on his wing…

    Until they got Mogilny at the latter part of his career Sundin had JACK-SHIT to work with. His game-winning and overtime numbers have always been good and he his playoff performance hasn’t dropped dractically or anything.

    Where I *do* agree with you is that the Leafs are stuck with his contract. He is too old for teams to want to pick up that salary in the cap environment. There would only be a couple possible places (Atlanta, Florida, Minnesota) that I can even guess at looking at him.

    I wish they could trade him to a contender so he would have a legitimate shot at a cup.

  18. Aetherial says:

    At this point, if Ferguson can ice a playoff team, he deserves to be knighted.

    When I see Domi and Kilger signings and Allison appears to have faded into the distance… and the only other thing I hear is stupid rumors…

    Then I seriously doubt the Leafs will be seeing the post season this year.

  19. 92-93 says:

    awesome post. totally agree about Belfour (I think he is a top-5 goalie – he had 10 shutouts with Berg, Kaberle, and McCabe playing in front of him, 10!).

    I think the Allison signing might become the best signing the Leafs have made since getting Roberts. How anyone is writing him off at this point seems a little pointless but we’ll see.

    Lindros, maybe, I dunno. Still not convinced about this guy unless he signs for $1 million or less.

  20. Prynce says:

    Thorton is from Ontario. He hates playing for the Bruins. He will not resign with them. Sundin is signed for 3 more years. The Thornton for Sundin is the only one that makes sense.

    I won’t expect it to happen, but it makes sense.

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