December 19, 2008

Farewell Mats

The New Delhi streets were abuzz this morning over the news. Mats Sundin is officially a Vancouver Canuck, and every man, woman, child, beggar and corrupt police officer was talking about it.

The Sundin saga is finally, mercifully over. I, for one, couldn't be happier with the outcome. I wanted Mats to go west, and he's done just that.

As fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and sports in general, we're all entitled to our own opinions. None of them are wrong. Well, except for this bullshit. I'm not even sure why I'm linking to it, but it should give you a good idea of the hatred and garbage being thrown Sundin's way.

I was expecting some serious Sundin bashing from Down Goes Brown, but he kept it real, and kept it classy, unlike the garbage linked to above, in his message to Mats. Make sure you give it a read. I think most Leafs fans share his sentiments today.

I will admit, though, that the tombstone over at PPP stung. Big time.

I think the double standard that exists when it comes to Sundin and his (in)decision was a funny one. It was alright for Sundin to be traded to Montreal, or New York, or wherever, but it was wrong for him to leave town on his own volition. The haters only wanted what was best for them.

I think DGB hit the nail on the head with the way it all went down. It was unfortunate, and Mats screwed up. He didn't need to give us a reason why he refused to be traded, and the last thing he should have said was that it was because he loved Toronto, and loved being a Maple Leaf. He had a no-trade clause, and he was using it. That would have been suffice.

I could go on and on about Sundin and how I think the fans that are roasting him today are a fickle and selfish bunch, but I've done that before, and I'm not going to down that road again. In my eyes, Mats, after giving us so much, finally looked out for himself. And I can't be mad at him for that. In time, I believe all will be forgiven.

In my dreams, Sundin has the won the Stanley Cup in a Leafs jersey thousands of times. I've always wanted to see him hoist that most beautiful trophy over his head, and that hasn't changed now that he's wearing a different blue and white sweater. Go Canucks, plain and simple.

In my ultimate fantasy, the Canucks do win the Stanley Cup this season, and Sundin wins the Conn Smythe trophy. Then, in the off-season, Mats signs a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and comes home to retire.

I'm still just as in love with Sundin as I was when we first met back in 1994. In these eyes, he will always be a Maple Leaf, and always represent Toronto. He gave us the best years of his hockey life and even though his Leafs career is over, and came to an end in a most unfortunate way, those years still mean and stand for something, damn it.

Talk badly about him if you must. Curse him. Call him a liar. Hate him. Throw shit at him. But there will never be any denying what he did in the uniform which we all adore. Like I said, in time, all will be forgiven.

I don't know about you, but I know where I'll be on February 21st. At the Air Canada Centre, in my Sundin jersey, on my feet in applause.

Good luck, Mats, and thank you. For everything.


showcase29 said...

The "true fans" keep crapping all over him about going where the money was, but realistically... by taking this long, Vancouver was his only option. It was VanCity, or retirement.

showcase29 said...

p.s. Raycroft won again.

blurr1974 said...

bah! I'm still confused eyebleaf. I'm happy it's over, confused at the choice of location, and am anxious for the Hagman era to begin.

I was seriously elated yesterday. Hap a skip in my step and a song in my heart. It's just, as the day wore on, the song kept changing...

great post, as always.

Wendel's Moustache said...

Ooooh I'm one day old and already a feud. Me likey.

I'm not exactly sure how going on for like 6 paragraphs about how much I loved Mats and therefore am hurt by the way he handled his leaving (yes, I do believe he let the city down, and say what you will about him giving his best years to Toronto, it's not like he wasn't both adored as a result and compensated handsomely for it) constitutes me disliking him for not being Canadian, or for that matter brings up hatred toward him (I believe the word LOVE is used a number of times). I'd suggest, you know, reading the words. Just an idea.

This is fun, you are now blogroll denizen numero dos.

Zack said...

Where to begin..

I'm glad those people are celebrating Sundin and not the fact that their national team is currently playing worst, and most boring cricket of the weekend.

As for the link that won't be mentioned by name, I'd rather not suck your html, espcially cause you probably embed links, so there!

Either way, that game was a lot of fun last night, it's too bad, they're only playing twice more this year. And I'm glad you solved your little problem, Burke is good for stuff like that.

On The Fence Sports said...

Guy wanted to win a ring and well the Leafs weren't going to offer him that. He did nothing wrong like some guys out there in professional sports. He didn't sulk, didn't quit on his teammates, and didn't bitch so I am happy he found a place where he wants to play.

I have nothing negative to say about Sundin.

Good Luck my friend.

On The Fence Sports

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I like Mats. I still like Mats. I just wished that he hadn't pulled a Favre and been unable to make up his mind for so long--it would've made things so much easier. Hope the Canucks do well, and I hope the fans don't give him the VC treatment because he definitely doesn't deserve it.