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. chris_2334 says:

    4 words….Dont write that shit!!! you know the leafs will never trade sundin, it wont happen!!! Atleast until near the end of his career….

  2. mcpickl says:

    they have to keep him. while still a terrific player, his trade value is at an alltime low because his salary is close to the max and few teams could/would fit him under the cap.

  3. Viller02 says:

    They wont trade him because they can’t. Nobody wants that kind of salary…. they would have to dump him JR style, even there it still would be alot of salary to take.

  4. Ace_Bailey says:

    He’ll retire with the Leafs. He’s far overpaid, but I’d still like him to retire a Leaf.

  5. nordiques100 says:

    first of all, dont call my writing “shit” as I try my best to contribute stuff here and try to make this a worthwhile site for people.

    secondly, we really dont know what the leafs are doing, and if it is to sit back and rebuild for the future then that future really does not have use for a 35 year old 6 million dollar player. the leafs could get great value for a player like sundin now to help forward their rebuilding process if that is the route they go.

    if they are just retooling for next year, well we better wait and see until then. sundin and belfour are the leafs only hope to remain competitive now but with so many teams so much better now, it wont be easy.

  6. TML51 says:

    I doubt that there would be any takers for Sundin, his salary is too high and most teams have already loaded up and are nearing caps. Leaf Management has made it very clear that they want him to retire a Leaf.

    If Sundin were a great leader, however, he would voluntarily take a pay cut, switch to a incentive laden contract, and free up more cap room. That would set a helpful tone in leaf land these days! As someone far wiser than I once said….”Lead by example.”

  7. nordiques100 says:

    thing is, does the new CBA allow for restructuring of contracts? if that was the case i am sure more teams like hte avs and flyers and wings even would do that so they could keep some of their own players. i dont think that is allowed, especially since all contracts are guaranteed.

  8. Guillemin says:

    Here’s the problem with the majority of Leaf fans: the undying loyalty you have towards your franchise and players is admirable but outdated. If Ferguson is content to let this franchise take a serious hit this year to take a stab at the free agent market next year, then so be it, nothing can be done. If TO fans want a contender this year, and judging by the outraged response they do, moves need to be made. Frankly, Sundin, Belfour, McCabe, etc. are overpaid. Sundin should not make this much in the new salary system, and Toronto may need to trade him to make some decent aquisitions this year. Belfour should be on the trade block at the very least.

    Toronto has positioned itself so poorly for this new NHL that there is basically nothing they can do except wait for next year or give some “career” leafs a one way ticket out of town.

    The discussion concerning Sundin is pointless, however, cause he has a no trade clause. He’s not going anywhere and Toronto is gonna be stuck with him til he retires. See the Alexei Yashin, Jaromir Jagr, and soon to be Alexei Kovalev scenarios for pathetic examples.

    Enjot the year Leaf fans…unfortunately, if you want to watch a winning team, you’ll have to day trip down to Ottawa 😀

  9. PTack says:

    Why wouldn’t the leafs trade Sundin? They traded Gilmour who was a bigger fan fav and a better player too. They got Steve Sullivan and others for him but then let Sullivan get picked up on waivers or something like idiots. They could do the same thing here.

  10. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Ottawa a winning team? LMAO!

  11. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Where did the idea that everyone wants to play for Toronto come from? Every off season, every top free agent is linked to the Leafs, and none of them end up in Toronto. When was the last time the Leafs actually signed the big name on the market? Now we’re talking about the guys they’re going to sign A YEAR FROM NOW?

    As for trading Sundin…I’ve thought they should do that for awhile now. They’ve gone as far as they’re going to go with the Sundin era. Good, to decent regular reason, and a first or second round playoff exit. I don’t think Sundin is the guy to lead a team, and to take it to the Stanley Cup. He’s a good guy to have on the team, but I don’t see him as they guy they can build around. I thought they should’ve built the team around Nolan, and if he wasn’t injuried right now I’d still think that. If the Leafs are happy making the playoffs every year and not much else, fine, stay the way you are…but if they really want to win the cup, they have to rebuild and plan for the future, because they seem to be one of the least prepared teams for the new salary cap era in the NHL.

  12. PTack says:

    Sundin will stay because of his contract but if their was a chance to get something in return for him id say ship him to Atlanta for Marc Savard. Atlanta is stacked with young superstars ie Kovalchuk and Heatly so an experienced player could fit into the mix.

  13. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Toronto a winning team! LMAO!

    Leafs might own Ottawa in the playoffs, but they can’t touch Philly.

  14. nordiques100 says:

    2 words

    dmitri khristich

    and the leafs got jason smith and alyn mcauley in that deal too

  15. habswinthecup-again says:

    The first thing that JFJ should have done was buyout Belfour, as soon as it was clear that he wasn’t going to do that he should have been fired. The second thing that Toronto should have done was get rid of JFJ and Quinn. And if Peddie is still in charge or even has anything to do with the Leafs get the hell rid of him, all you have to do is look at the Raptors for his resume and it should be a nobrainer. The bottom line is this, the Leafs will not win anything with this lineup(hell they are hardpressed to make the playoffs), and they are a long ways away from contending for the Cup with their minor players.

  16. BabyLeaf says:

    While you do list some good reasons why trading Sundin … I still wouldn’t do it! LOL .. IMO Sundin is the Leafs franchise player … and I would never trade him!

  17. Guillemin says:

    Toronto has had Ottawa’s number in the playoffs, trus…but this TOR is far from the teams that beat Ottawa these last few years.

    It would be fun to see the Sens sweep the Leafs in the first round.

  18. TML51 says:

    hmmm…good point! Didn’t think of that!

  19. leafsbud says:

    I guess that is why the leafs fans are angry, they are left in the dark as to the plan of attack and I guess John does not want to let the cat out of the bag…..that is why I said earlier either he is very foolish in not being properly prepared for the new CBA and has been caught totally flat footed or he had someone else from the upper deck calling the shots and this seems more like the way MLSE is run, from the top down instead of bottom up. I also mentioned that the teachers pension fund was not too happy with what has happened and the Leafs were probably one of the only teams that could make it work under the old sytem and this was voiced at many of the meetings that took place in building the new CBA. I think there is more to this whole process than meets the eye, there is a reason why Fergy didn’t buy out the veterans or why he rewarded Belfour with a new contract last year for 2 years. Lets face it no one new the limits for the cap, but he should have had the brains to make some cap room and if this is his decision and not upper managements he has made a big error. I wonder why he fired the whole medical team, did he learn something about Nolans injury that could cost the Leafs 13 million……expense oversight…..the Leafs will be paying for this and I think it has wayed into their FA absence…….again upper management involvement…..what we would do to have Alan McCauley and Brad Boyes back and the draft pick, and all the draft picks for the players we signed at the march trade deadline…….the Leafs are far from putting a winning contender on the ice and will they get value in trading Sundin…….not at all…..the plan Fergy is talking about is a road map for the next 3-5 years, he has surrounded himself with good scouts and this should help……..I think what you should do John is be a little more approachable to the public and let them try and understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. The average fan is just frustrated by the lack of communicationa nd action taken so far by the hockey club…….

  20. leafsbud says:

    Forget trading Sundin I think we should trade John Ferguson……..

  21. LeafsTat says:

    I honestly doubt that the leafs would do anything stupid like that… but im curious y JFJ hasn’t done more., and im getting a little upset with how little the leafs have done in the biggest free agent pool… i just hope that the leafs didnt make a mistake on making JFJ GM …i hope that if he’s holding out this long to sign low calibre players..then i hope to see a cup within 5 years…or maybe its time for JFJ to hit the road..

  22. gur28 says:

    i like the idea of sundin going to chicago. the leafs would probably suck with all those young players at first but probably would be great in the future. right now…it looks like they won’t even make the playoffs

  23. Ace_Bailey says:

    I’d rather drive down to Pennsylvania. It’s more scenic and I’d rather see Crosby and Forsberg in the same state than Alfie any day.

  24. Ace_Bailey says:

    If it was a few years ago I’d say Roberts hands down. Roberts was the heart and soul of the team, the leadership. Nolan just wasnt the player he was hyped up to be. I honestly don’t think he’s worth his draft number, especially being the power forward he is, he never could put up numbers like the others such as Roenick or Bertuzzi could. I also didn’t see leadership in him.

    I still believe Roberts hands down should’ve been captain, like Dave Andreychuk for the Lightning.

  25. habsfanforever says:

    i don’t even think a house leauge team would want him

  26. desertdog says:

    What a great idea! If I were a GM, I sure would be looking to trade all my young, cheap talent for a huge salary.

    My guess is Sundin and Belfour to the Pens for Crosby, Fluery, Tarnstrum, and Lemieux. Lemieux would come because deep inside he has always longed to be a maple queef.

    Just a thought, maybe its time for some leaf fans to step away from the computer and maybe take a walk, or read a book, or something…

  27. splendidchink says:

    This thread is boring. How about some Flyer bashing, since the have been bad mouthing TO since free agency started. ALL TOGETHER NOW-FLYERS SUCK. Oh ya, Titan is a fag!

  28. Marky2Fresh says:

    Maybe we should try shipping him to the Jays for JP Richcardi(sp?) as it seems he is the only GM in Toronto that seems to know what he’s doing.

  29. Enigma says:

    They should trade him whether or not they are rebuilding. Sundin has had more then enough time to prove that he can lead the team to the cup finals and he has yet to do it with some pretty cabable rosters in years past.

    Toronto will suck this year so why not shake things up. I say Sundin for Thornton if boston is willing (give or take a few players/prospects to sweeten the deal).

    Anyone heard the latest rumours on Karyia ?

  30. EdGrimly says:

    Why not Sundin for Thornton ? I dont want to wait till next year

  31. 92-93 says:

    Guillemin …

    “The discussion concerning Sundin is pointless, however, cause he has a no trade clause. He’s not going anywhere and Toronto is gonna be stuck with him til he retires. See the Alexei Yashin, Jaromir Jagr, and soon to be Alexei Kovalev scenarios for pathetic examples.

    Enjot the year Leaf fans…unfortunately, if you want to watch a winning team, you’ll have to day trip down to Ottawa :D”

    first of all, if you are an ottawa fan (?) then making snide remarks about a player who has killed you in the playoffs is really funny. second, pointing out the examples of Yashin, Kovalev, and Jagr and comparing them to Sundin is problematic because Sundin is a quality player who has carried the Leafs on his back numerous times.

    Sundin isn’t going to be traded because of his contract and that’s fine with me because he is the best captain in Canada. period. if we was Canadian, no one (and i am speaking to you don cherry wannabes) would be questioning Sundin’s heart and determination.

  32. zdeno_duchesne says:

    i read the caption.. answer, NO!!!

    why would they ever trade their leading scorer for the past 9 seasons and a player who consistently leads the league in game-winning points?

    sundin (i may not care for him) is a class act and an exceptional hockey player. to get rid of him would be absurd.

  33. Flyer_Fan says:

    crickets chirping

  34. Habfanforever says:

    Berezin, Svehla, Khristich, Yuskevich, Reichel, Hoglund, Thomas and Bohonos. There, you should be able to ice a team for under 9 million$ added to the payroll, lol.

    Seriously, even as a habs fan I enjoyed watching Berezin, Steve Thomas and Lonny Bohonos play with Mats Sundin in the playoffs a couple of years back.

  35. Scruffy05 says:


    Damn Damn Damn……

    That’s it…. I’m getting it copywritten…

  36. bruinfan_2 says:

    as a bruins fan i say do the sundin for thornton trade but only if they re due sundins contract.

  37. TheAwaKe says:

    hahahahaha Dmitry Khristich! I love that guy 🙂

  38. NemiNA says:

    If they do trade him, It would have to be a team like Minnesota, Phoenix or one of those small market clubs. They won’t be able to get much for him. In my opinion, they screwed themselves when they didn’t buyout Belfour.

    I still think Toronto will be able to put a Playoff team on the Ice. Their not as well of as Philly, Ottawa, Boston, or Pittsburgh (now), But I still think they will make it in.

  39. NemiNA says:

    Player salaries can’t be renegotiated under the new CBA. This year I mean. If they could, the Flyers would still have Markov and Roenick.

  40. NemiNA says:

    OH YEAH!

    I was at a Flyers game I think 2 years ago when the Flyers beat Toronto in the first round. It was just after I think game 2 or 3. Myself, along with about 4 to 6 other Flyers fans were screaming from the fence above the Players Entrance at the Leafs. Bryan McCabe has his blue hair, we gave him shit for that. A couple more people came out, we gave them shit too. Then Sundin came out, We gave him alot of shit, and he scratched his forhead, GIVING US THE FINGER! THATS RIGHT! SUNDIN FLIPPED ME OFF!

    That is why I respect him. I think he should stay a leaf.

  41. vanstan says:

    This article and another post from the domi article (by 92-93) got me thinking about the canucks, and i recomend that other people on this sight try this and then see what there team has in terms of cap space before believing some stupid eklund rumor. This is all with signed or qualified players mined you, not some fanboy dillusion like alot of people on this board like to post

    Naslund ($6.0 million)______Morrison($3.0 million)______Bertuzzi($5.3 million)

    D. Sedin($1.7 million)______ H. Sedin($1.7 million)______Jason King($450,000)

    Cooke(1.1 million)______Kesler($720,000)__________Linden($1.5 million)

    Ruutu($1 million)______Chubarov($1.3 million)__________Other($750,000)

    Ohlund($3million)______Salo($2 million)

    Jovo($4 million)______Allen($1.4 million)

    Other ($1.5 million)_______Other($750,000)

    Cloutier($2.5 million)


    Total for this 20 man roster: $40.18 million

    Please tell me where you believe my estimates are least accurate. Only Naslund, Bertuzzi, Linden, Kesler, Jovo, and Auld are actual numbers.

    So the question begs where to trim the fat. My first choice would be cloutier. Pick up Burke or Legace for under 1.25 to half your goaltending costs. They might also look to go very cheap with the 5th and 6th D-men and the 4th line. Other than that the canucks are stuck. So for all the canucks fans who were dreaming of Neidermyer or are still dreaming of Hamarlik or Karyia, I wouldn’t count on it.

  42. Scruffy05 says:

    Knock a little off the Sedins…. 1.4 mill or so?

    Chubey should comme in under a million. Why would we pay a fourth line grinder the same as Captain Canuck? Maybe the same as Kesler. Allen is another one that I would see signing for no more than maybe just over 1 million. Ruutu as well…. $720 000 sounds good for him…. Salo for 1.5? You are very close and accurate but Dave Nonis already said that even if all the UFA’s sign we will be in the “low 30s” as for total roster and will have approximatly 6 million of cap space. Does this mean we can sign a Kariya? Probably not but Gratton has been rumoured to want to come. I’d centre him with Linden and Cooke and let Kesler start out with Chubey.

    On Defence Bieska is rumoured to be a good shot to crack the lineup at number 5 or 6 and another Manitoba guy as well so look for the two numbers you have allocated there to drop considerably.

  43. LeafBasher_BEATER says:

    This is the stupidest post i’ve seen in a long time.

    nordiques100, Maybe yout next one will be “should the flyers trade forsberg for a bunch of draft picks?” That will make as much sense as this one.

    and splendidchink, I’d like to take you up on the offer:

    Flyers suck!!!

    I predict Forsberg will get a severe groin injury and will be forced into rehab for 2 seasons.

    Flyers will finish second overall in the east and will lose in the first round. (confirmed by Eklund).

  44. NemiNA says:

    Yeah, that guy apparently doesn’t realize that we only talk shit on teams and players. Not their divisional standings. We all give each other alot of shit, but we’re all unified. Its a good feeling.


  45. NemiNA says:

    Don’t even be starting with the gay jokes. We don’t do that here.

  46. NemiNA says:

    I want a quater everytime somebody says it…

  47. Mike_Palmateer says:

    It’s really no one’s business what the Leafs plan is. In your profession do you tell your competitors what your plans are? Of course not. They owe the fans nothing other than putting a product on the ice that will make you go out and buy leafs TV.

    Lets see what happens in the next few weeks before freaking out on what the Leafs plan to do. You can’t trade Sundin now. For money reasons and also for competitive reasons. Mats is still a top 7-10 centre in the league.

    What gets me is how people forget who the Leafs were. Most of you thought they were going to win the cup with this lineup.

    Mogilny(Injured) Sundin Roberts

    Tucker Reichel Nolan (Injured)

    Antropov Niewendyk Ponikarovski

    Stajan Francis Domi

    Renberg (Injured)

    McAbe Leetch

    Kaberle Klee

    Berg Marchment



    Wow, wouldn’t you Leaf fans love that lineup going this year.

    My point is this crap lineup was still good enough to beat Ottawa in the first round in 2003. Why? Ed Belfour. So quit slamming him. He is a technician. He honed his skill under Tretiak. So back off.

    I hear on the fan 590, Hogan saying he has a bad back. He has had a bad back since he was in Chicago. Yes he is 40 but he takes good care of himself and he had surgery a year ago to make it better. Who would you rather have? Felix Potvin? Chris NoGood? Belfour is still a top 10 goaltendender in the league. Or would you rather have rubber band hamstring man…Domik Hasek. Hasek has played 14 games in the past 3 years. I would have Ray Emery ready in Ottawa.

    If the Leafs are able to add 3 top 6 forwards in the next few weeks they will be fine. Lindros should be signed. He will get you as many points as Niewendyk did and will probably play as many games. (Do you forget that Joe missed 18 games during the season and games 2,3, and 4 in the Philly series in 2003). O’Neil is your replacement for Roberts. I hated him when he was in Carolina just as much as I hated Roberts when he was in Carolina. Jeff is a good player and JfJ was lucky that Jim Rutherford was a gentleman in giving Jeff what he wanted.

    If they can sign Allison (He must pass his physical) and somehow find a way to get a scorer to play with Mats the Leafs will be fine. I don’t know if there is enough $ to get a Palfy or not (It would take $4M or so to get him I am sure) Yes I think they the can sign all 3 and still get under the cap.

    So fear not Leaf fans, every team will have their challenges.

    Philly won’t be as good as you think. The game will change. Size is important yes, but you will need to be able to move the puck in the new NHL and of the 3 D-men Philly signed only Rathje will be looked at as a good signing. Hatcher is a mean prick, but I have serious questions about his mobility. Kim Jonsson is their best D-man. Eric Desjardens is anchient with a reconstructed knee. So nothing is for sure with them. They will be very good, they were in 2003. But they won’t just roll over everyone.

    Ottawa is the best team on paper in the East. They have been for a few years. But that doesn’t mean they will win the cup either.

    New Jersey has taken a step back but they will still be good. The Rangers (You think we don’t have a plan) and Islanders are non factors (Milbury) along with Washington and Carolina.

    Atlanta and Florida will be better but they won’t be much more than .500 teams.

    Of course Tampa is great, very good without Khabibulin.

    The interesting ones are the Penguins, Habs and the Bruins. Joe Thornton is awesome. The Bruins are good as long as he is around. I question the Leetch signing. $4M? That is way too much. Unfortunately, The Habs might be pretty good.

    Pittsburgh…Who knows. They can’t help but be better and I don’t think anyone should expect too much out of the kid the first year. They need a goalie. They won’t let Fleury play more than the 20 or so games because of his contract. Would you give Gonchar $25 M for 5 years? No way. Not 5 years.

    Which leads us back to the Leafs. Like I said 3 top 6 forwards (Palfy?/Lindros/Allison) On D they should sign Brad Ference. He is a tough guy, young and he would be cheap. (800 K or so).

    Remember who the Leafs had in 2003. Compare that in a few months to who they will have in 2005. Then decide if they are better off or not. Now if they do nothing and have Nathon Perrott on the third line then that is another matter. Lets just see.

  48. NemiNA says:

    The Toronto media blows it all out of proportion, and the fans beleive every word of it.

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