So, whaddya know? Miracles do happen. Mats Sundin is heading into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Wonders never cease. Before all you Leaf fans celebrate this occasion because there’s been nothing else to celebrate, let me take you back to January of 2009. Sundin finally made his long awaited Vancouver debut. He strung Leaf fans along for months. Holding out for tens of millions of bucks, and then deciding when he wanted to start with his new team.
From the moment the Leafs tried to deal him in the spring of ‘08, Sundin stopped being a Maple Leaf. He felt that after 14 years of loyal service, he was owed something. Like some respect. Another contract extension. Well, I got news for you Matty, if you think the Leafs owed you anything, then you were dreaming in Technicolor. You didn’t win a Stanley Cup. And while you were a great player, you were a lackluster leader. Toronto paid you handsomely many times over for your time there. Unfortunately, the days of allegiance and loyalty are long gone. And when he left T.O. he become something he said he never would—a rent a player for half a season with a full year’s salary in his back pocket. Some will argue tenure had given him that privilege—and yeah, they’re right, but not once did Sundin come out in public to address Leaf fans about his situation and his reasoning, or even to say a lousy goodbye. We were all owed at least that.
Lucky for Mats character isn’t one the attributes that gets you elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame.