Mats Sundin told a Toronto radio station this week that he has not yet decided “IF” he wants to play hockey anymore let alone where he wants to play. The former Leaf Captain continues to struggle with that heavy decision.
It really isn’t a decision at all then is it. If you are in September and you still cant decide if you even want to play hockey anymore doesn’t that mean that you don’t. If you get to September and that burn to get on the ice and compete isn’t there then maybe the question has been answered already.
Fans are waiting, teams are waiting and other players are waiting and Mats it appears could care less. Several NHL teams have been saving a roster spot and a big hunk of cash in case Mats wants to play and he wants to play for them. Other players will be moved to accommodate that. They would love to know what is happening with their careers too, but that's no concern to Mats.
Last season when Sundin turned down several requests from Toronto to waive his no trade clause one of his reasons was the full season issue. He believes players should finish the season with the team they started with and anything less is simply a rental and he didn't want to be a rental. OK, so a full season includes a training camp and exhibition games. Camps open in less than 2 weeks and Mats is still deciding if he wants to play? If he decides he does but not until December was last years reasoning a smoke screen for something else?
Mats has no money issues in his life. Over his career he has earned over 74 million dollars plus endorsements and investments. Mats and generations of his family will never have to worry about money. So the issue is really desire and he seems to have a complete lack of it.
For that reason should NHL teams be lining up to try and lure him back? Just like the teams which were wary of his drive to win when he refused to waive his no trade clause in Toronto last year, he seems to be completely lacking in the kind of push you need to play in the NHL at the highest level.
Mats has never been a dog player. He has never mailed it in and maybe that’s his biggest fear. Maybe he is scared that with this lack of excited anticipation for the start of the season he see’s himself as a player who might not be able to push himself to be the player he has always been. No shame in that. The shame is waiting for some epiphany or some magic voice inside Sundin’s head to tell him that he does or doesn’t want to be an NHL player anymore.
This waffling is not only infuriating for those teams who have set aside money to sign the big Swede should he return and pick them as the winners of the Mats lottery. It is an insult to every hockey lover who would give anything for one day of his gifted life. When the fans watching the game care more about Mats playing than he does there is something very wrong with the wires that spark his hockey DNA. Maybe those wires are no longer connected.
Come back or go away I don’t much care anymore. Just stop the waffling. Retire and fade away and then if you decide in a year (or maybe by Christmas) you do want to play again just un-retire. The NFL has the Brett Favre flip-flop Mats can be ours.
See you at the rink.