From an article in today’s Globe by Tim Wharnsby:
One of Burke’s first items on his to-do list will be to contact free-agent centre Mats Sundin, and garner his interest in returning to the Leafs next month. With the addition of Lee Stempniak, Sundin could play on a line with the newcomer and right winger Nik Antropov.
My initial reaction was one of excitement. I am wondering if that is appropriate or not, keeping in mind that any icetime distributed to Sundin is TOI that’s not going to one of the younger kids. No doubt, Mats would eat up a lot of quality, important game-situation minutes. Players we’re trying to develop need those minutes sooner or later.
If we can’t win this year by adding Sundin – and we can’t – then why delay the development of the others?
And why do I still have my fingers crossed for his return?
Update: Damien Cox has his Thursday mailbag at the Star’s site:
Q: Hi Damien,
If Brian Burke becomes the GM, would he go and sign Sundin? Who you think he will make the team’s captain? Thanks.
Kirupa Kathir, Brampton
A: It would make no sense to sign Sundin from a variety of standpoints, and I can’t imagine Burke would pursue that strategy. What would be the point? As far as team captain, unless it’s Luke Schenn somewhere down the road, the Leafs probably don’t own a player capable of wearing the “C” right now.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Wharnsby v. Cox, down in the mud at the Silverdome (-ilverdome, -ilverdome). We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!
Back in the mid-1970s, when I was about seven or eight years old, I built a crystal radio set. The radio came in a kit, and I got it as a gift, I think probably for my birthday. Building the radio was fun, and I learned a little bit about electronics and how radios work; really just enough to whet my already substantial appetite for any kind of technology. It was cool fitting the pieces together and actually using a piece of technology that I built with my own two hands (thanks to heavily scripted and almost entirely idiot-proof instructions in the Radio Shack kit). In my mind’s eye, I can still see the little dark green box made of transparent plastic (all the better to see the resistors, capacitors and such).
Even more fun than that, though, was listening to the radio at night when I went to bed. Once tucked away under the covers, I would pop the (one) greyish, ugly and bulky earphone into my ear and tune in whatever I could find on the AM dial (man would the kids today, with their fancy noise-cancelling iPod earbuds and 80 GB mp3 capacity be shocked by this whole concept). I learned that Elvis had died listening to my crystal radio. [ed. note: for clarity, Elvis died on the toilet – my radio was nowhere near him at the time. I learned about the King’s unfortunate demise while I was listening to the set; that’s what I meant to say. ]
A couple of things, really quickly.
One, I can’t let this day go by without observing that it is the sixth anniversary of that day in Salt Lake City when Canada triumphantly reclaimed Men’s Olympic Hockey Gold after a loooooong drought, by beating a game, but overmatched, U.S. team. That’s us (in the picture to the left), singing ‘O Canada’ (badly out of key) at the Black Swan on Danforth Ave. in Toronto, as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Two, TSN is reporting that Mats Sundin has announced he will not waive his no-trade clause and will be staying put as the Captain of the Maple Leafs. Leaf fans, it says here, should cut Captain Class some slack and respect his decision. He’s earned the right to choose.