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
Be careful what you don't really wish for or not that would or wouldnt be really good to happen or not happen.
It’s funny how this doesn’t feel like what it is…which is basically doomsday. I know what you are thinking….its not doomsday, I would then say it is and you would say its not and I would say it is again and all we would need after that would be the parrot and we’re Monty Python. It’s doomsday because Mats Sundin will not re-sign next year...and we wont get that Edmonton pick.
The vilification of Mats Sundin will begin. Some people, bandwagon jumping Leaf fans and undoubtedly fans from otwa, (see below), will use the phrase the Maple Laughs, which is always good quality material. Their blogs and message boards (hope you read French) will be filled with lots of LOLs, LMFAO’s. That will undoubtedly be followed by bon-mots where they’ll refer to Mats as a retard.
(This next part I would ask you to use an English accent) To those bastards I say your repeated attempts at defamation and slanderous vitriol are about as scurrilous as your malignant vituperation.
And your women have fat legs.
It’s not up to Mats to correct the wrongs done our team, his team, at the hands of JFJ or MLSE…quite frankly I don’t give a care which acronym to be mad at at this point. A bad contract is a bad contract….and Mats didn’t have to trade his heart for any of them. And that’s what it came down too. Hey people…when its in the blood, its in the blood.
I can only hope that when Mats next steps onto the ice at ACC that he get the kind of applause that he deserves. On most nights he’s been our only highlight reel. And has played his heart out, that same heart, for us, game in/game out as long as I care to remember. And he even asks, and he’s asking us people, you and me, ‘hope you guys understand?’ I for one do Mats. Am I fucking sick to the stomach about it? yes. But I have one thing to say to Mats: That’ll do pig, that'll do.
But, you know what, who's next?