Low Leafs

Not sure why Mats Sundin is taking such a beating for refusing to waive his no-trade clause. The reason he has a no-trade clause is because he didn’t want to get moved. Ditto for Sundin’s teammates Tomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina and Darcy Tucker, all of whom have reportedly said they would not waive their no-trade clauses, either. If Toronto fans and media want to put the hammer to someone, they should put it to management.

It’s not like the players slipped those clauses into the pact without management’s knowledge, is it?

I’ve heard that the NHL is kicking the tires on a new rule that would prevent situations like the one that occurred last year at this time when St. Louis shipped Keith Tkachuk to the Thrashers for a bounty of prospects and picks. A few months later, Tkachuk resigned with the Blues as a free agent. There are some who believe such activity should be outlawed, and that a player traded away by a team should not be able to re-join that team (via trade or free agency) within a calendar year of the original deal. I’d be in favor of such a rule myself.

The existence of such a rule would keep Sundin from being vilified as he is at the moment. The guy is a center and the team captain; it’s not up to him to rebuild the Leafs but to hear some tell it, he’s the villain in the whole episode.

And hey, how about the fact that we’re less than 26 hours removed from the trade deadline with little to no activity going on? I’m starting to see now why people would pay actual money (as opposed to that Paulie Walnuts Monopoly cash) to have some anonymous visionary hip them to “updated rumors.”

Those “rumors” might be as close as we get to a deal.

Seriously, I believe some cards will be played soon, but I’ll be surprised if the overall activity approaches the level of recent seasons. There are a lot of reasons for this, some of which are expounded on by a few prominent GMs in this piece I wrote for Caps.com.

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10 Comments on “Low Leafs”


  1. That’s typical Toronto media (and fans) for you…

  2. FS Says:

    Tkachuck didn’t sign with the blues as a UFA. He was traded back to the Blues a couple of days before July 1st and resigned. The Thrashers regained the conditional first round pick they gave up in the process.

  3. dumpnchase Says:

    FS,
    You’re exactly right about the Tkachuk situation, and thanks for the correction. But if the league passes the mentioned rule change, even that sort of move would be prohibited in the future. The NHL should not function as a lending library.

  4. Marks4Java Says:

    I think the Toronto fans are mad because Mats isn’t making himself the sacrificial lamb for the franchise. It is interesting actually, how in a sense he is taking one for the team (hanging in there) and in another sense, he’s hurting them (slowing rebuild).

  5. gusty161 Says:

    Vogs,
    I could not agree with you more about a rule preventing a player to resign with his old team for a year, but wouldn’t the NHLPA have to sign off on something like that? And if so, why would they ever agree to limit the movement options of their members? As far as the Caps go, I think that if they’re serious about making a run for the playoffs, they need to go out and find a second line center. Not that kozlov isn’t OK there, but it’s apparent ( at least to me) that he’s a lot more valuable on the first line. Ovechkin (five games without a goal. Backstrom 19 games without a goal.) I’ve made the suggestion before, so I’ll say it again. Why not Federov? He’s the perfect short term solution in that he won’t cost much and he’ll be gone after the season. Thoughts?

  6. dumpnchase Says:

    Gusty,
    I’m sure the PA would have to sign off. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. The PA is experiencing a bit of a renaissance too, with Paul Kelly and Eric Lindros at the helm. I think it’s going to be interesting to watch the dynamic between the league and the PA over the next several seasons. They’ve endured a lot of choppy seas (to put it kindly) over the last 50 years and my own sense is that there exists now the possibility of a better and more real “partnership” than ever before.

    The Caps could use a center. They could also use a mean, snarly defenseman. Me, I wouldn’t pay through the nose for either piece. I’d much rather miss the playoffs this year and hold onto at least three of the first four picks in the ’08 draft. I’d rather contend annually for several seasons than to throw away some young and cheap assets for a rental or two when this team is not really Cup-ready yet. To me, it’s like the choice between buying a handful of lottery tix or sinking some money into a 401K.

  7. dmg Says:

    “To me, it’s like the choice between buying a handful of lottery tix or sinking some money into a 401K.”

    That’s a really good analogy.

    I’d have to disagree about players re-signing with their former teams, for a couple reasons. One is that every GM out there knows what happens when they get a rental player – it’s such an obvious part of the game that everyone calls it a “rental”! If GM don’t like giving up picks or players for a guy that only plays 12 games for them, they shouldn’t make the deal. Just as good a reason is the player themselves – it’s not fair to dictate to them where they can and can’t go based on something (a trade) they have no say in and it isn’t fair to tell a player they have to uproot or live away from their family and where they want to be for a season if they still want an NHL job, just because someone in management made the decision to trade them.

  8. Funkyglovefacewash Says:

    The only people that should be complaining about Sundin refusing to waive his no-trade clause are the fans and management of the other 29 NHL teams. Toronto fans should be nothing but grateful that one of the best players for the last 15 years actually wants to stay with a team who’s management has failed to build a Cup winner. As an UFA at season’s end, Sundin probably wouldn’t bring as much in trade as many might think, thus isn’t really hurting Toronto’s ability to rebuild that much by staying. As for our Caps, I would be upset if we started giving away too many of our assets(prospects and draft picks)this year, especially when we are currently out of a playoff spot. That would just be foolish and negate all of the good work management has done with our rebuild up to this point. I still think we’ll make the playoffs this year, and if we do I’d like to see it happen without mortgaging the team’s future. Remember, we’re trying to build a dynasty here not a one hit wonder.


  9. […] be traded?…USA Today takes a loot at last year’s trades…Mike Vogel has some interesting thoughts about Mats Sundin and the nature of the trade deadline in general…A picture’s worth a […]

  10. KCME Says:

    The Maple Leaves fans should be happy that they have players that are so devoted to their teams and not to money or winning the Cup. It’s so rare to have a player want to stay with a team when they aren’t doing well. I think that speaks for Sundin’s character.


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