at watching the Academy Awards tonight and during the show, both my phones rang, one after the other. I didn't answer because, as I said, I was at watching the Academy Awards. It was also because I was a little scared. I knew that two phone calls in a row tonight meant one of two things. It was either going to be "Can you believe what Tilda Swinton was wearing?!" or, "Can you believe what the Leafs got for Sundin?!". Neither of those questions I wanted to face.
Addressing the prospect, as we all have, of Mats being traded this month has been long and hard. Yes, Loser Domi, long and hard. It's been a time of self (Leaf) reflection where I daily asked myself, what is the best thing to happen here; Should Mats stay because he loves the Leafs as much as we do, and continue to be the best captain in hockey? Or should he swallow hard, waive his NTC, become a rental, get the Leafs some future players and come back in the summer? My feelings on the matter were, to say the least, inconsistent:
It was weird, so many times I felt I had to make the decision. I felt the pressure to do the right thing for me, you, Mats and the future...and then I'd remember that thank Christ it wasn't up to me as I can barely manage to write a hockey blog, let alone be responsible for the Most Beautiful Sweater In All Of Sports. So Mats is staying as our Captain until he decides he doesn't want to play hockey anymore, and if anyone in the world deserves that privilege, it's Mats Sundin.
There are people out there who will only see the negative in all of this. The Thing That Lives Under The Stairs Howard Berger is already licking his mustachioed chops at the prospect of another doomed Leafs season minus the rewards that a Sundin trade would have (maybe) brought the club. He goes further in saying that now that the club has broken the invisible wall of actually asking Mats to waive his NTC, the magic of being a Leaf is forever dispelled for Sundin. Berger has already forced Mats' retirement papers into his hand, inferring a self-imposed Sundin banishment back to Sweden.
In other situations, I might agree with that assessment, but not in this case. I believe Mats understands the position Cliff Fletcher was put in in asking him to waive. Mats knew that it was about the future of the Leafs, with Mats just taking one for the team, as usual. Sundin wasn't unwanted or unneeded, he was just needed in another way.
Make sure you read Norte's take below. I owe him this week because he's really saved the blog's ass by posting his off. Norte - unlike the other two posters on HS/HS, Moose and What's-His-Name - actually understands what team is the one that stirs the drink around here, if you get my drift. I know that everyone reading just can't wait for Moose's newest post, "Patrick Thoresen Picked Up On Waivers By Flyers! What This Means To Jared Stoll!" I know I certainly ZZ-ZZZ-zzzz
Props also to Norte in the below post for finding that picture of His Worship, The Mayor of Ottawa. The Mayor graciously modeling his idea for the new Senators jersey. People, I PROMISE YOU, that design is being considered.
Sunday, February 24