February 12, 2008

Mats On The Move?

The NHL's trade deadline is exactly two weeks away. In 14 days, Mats Sundin may no longer be a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kevin Dupont of the Boston Globe is reporting that Sundin has given his blessing to be traded--but only to the "right" team.

Dupont writes that two general managers, who won't go on the record, have said that Sundin has given a trade the green light, but only to the team of his choice.

Dupont, logically, thinks it's Detroit. Everyone knows Sundin would fit in well with his Swedish comrades down in Motown. The Wings are the class of the NHL and, as always, have a great chance at winning the cup (provided they sort out their goaltending). Detroit is only a stones throw from Toronto and Sundin could stroll back to Toronto in the off-season, possibly a Stanley Cup champion.

The other team Dupont mentions is the Anaheim Ducks, who would become instant favourites to repeat if they land Sundin. Dupont writes: "the image of him feeding Teemu Selanne borders on the obscene." Can't argue with him. That would be something else. Sundin down in either Orange County or Detroit would make for some intriguing playoff hockey.

While I wouldn't be mad at Sundin if he opted to not waive his no-trade clause and stay in Toronto, if Dupont's reportage is true, Sundin is one swell cat. He's putting the franchise's interests first - he doesn't have to - and for that he deserves our undying gratitude. Mats Sundin, a true Swedish hero.

While the thought of Sundin in another jersey still makes me want to reach for a bottle of Appleton's, if it's for the betterment of the franchise, it's got to be done. And I know Sundin knows that.

Word is that the Sundin sweepstakes won't begin in earnest until the Peter Forsberg situation sorts itself out. Bob McKenzie is reporting that Foppa will make a decision by the end of the week on whether his foot is in decent enough shape for him to return to the NHL. If he does, the smart money says he's going back to Philadelphia to once again don the orange and black.

The ball got rolling yesterday in the trade department with the Ottawa Senators sending Patrick Eaves and Joe Corvo to the Carolina Hurricanes for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. It's a great deal for both teams. Like PPP says, Ottawa is definitely more of playoff team today than they were yesterday. With the deal, the Senators add secondary scoring in Stillman, some sandpaper in Commodore, and both are free agents at the end of the season. Not to mention the fact that they have three Stanley Cup rings between the two of them.

The Hurricanes get Eaves, a promising young forward who's been hampered by injury, and a power play quarterback in Corvo. Jim Rutherford knows what he's doing down in Carolina. Who knows, maybe we'll see him move to Toronto to be the next GM of our beloved Leafs.

The focus now shifts to the two big Swede's - Forsberg and Sundin. Once Forsberg decides on his future, the focus will be solely on our Captain, who turns 37 on Wednesday. It shall be a most-interesting couple of weeks, indeed.

Thanks to leafersutherland of The NHL Arena and Alin Mateescu of Rumor Me This for the scoop.