Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where is Mats Sundin Going?

As of now, it seems like Mats Sundin is returning to the NHL as he is currently on a heavy workout schedule in Los Angeles hoping to get in shape asap. The question on EVERYBODYS mind is, what team? Here are my top six teams that are interested in his service as well as having the appeal for Sundin to join. I am sure most NHL clubs wouldn't mind having Sundin but trust me, hes not going to LA or Columbus.

Montreal Canadiens:
Montreal made a hard push for him during the trade deadline last season and also the offseason by acquring his rights from the Maple Leafs. Having signed Robert Lang has basically pushed them up to the cap limit. I think in a perfect no-cap world they will and can sign Mats Sundin but with this current CBA, it is now unlikely for them to get Sundin.

Sundin Montreal bound: 4/10 - because of the possibility of winning of a Stanley Cup

Chicago BlackHawks:
This is a new team that has recently sparked some Mats Sundin rumours. They are also very close to the cap, but their advantage is that by dumping the heavy contract of Nikolai khabibulin they have cap space left to sign Mats. There are also teams interested in Khabibulin so this could very well work. The question is, would Sundin really want to play for Chicago? They are not a Stanley Cup contender yet in my opinion and I don't think Sundin can push them over the top. So would he want to go there just to help develop some future superstars? My answer is... NO

Sundin Chicago bound: 3/10 - I don't see why he wants to go Chicago, the money he can get from Vancouver, and the chance at a Stanley Cup he can get with NYR or MTL.

New York Rangers:
Another team very close to the cap, but I NYR will actually trade away players to make room for his services if he is willing to join the team. The team most likely to win the Stanley Cup on this list with the off-season addition of Markus Naslund and Wade Redden has solidified the team as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Sundin New York bound: 6/10 - if he wants to come back to win a Stanley Cup, NYR is his best bet. The problem is still the cap space and the issue of unloading players to make room. But if Sundin joins, think of the firepower they would have on the team.

Vancouver Canucks:
The team most likely to offer the most dough for his services. With a sub-par start to the season, Sundin would be taking a gamble on a team that is neither going up nor down. I think the Canucks are one or two forwards away from making a deep run in the playoffs especially with a solid D core and Captain Luongo in net.

Sundin Vancouver bound: 6.5/10 - If he is coming back for money as well as a chance for a Stanley Cup, Vancouver might be in the mix. The problem I see is, even with Sundin in the lineup, Vancouver still needs help with scoring. One more offensive forward would do... Gaborik anyone?

Tampa Bay Lightning:
A team that loaded up in the off-season only to not live up to the hype/expectation so far this season. I blame it on the coach. With that much firepower and a decent back-end, they should be competing near the top of the division.

Sundin Tampy Bay bound: 3/10 - Don't understand why he would want to go Tampa Bay. If they could offer him the money, then why not choose Vancouver? Doesn't seem like they are going to win the cup this year, so why not choose Rangers or Montreal? Living in the hotbed of hockey for majority of his career, does he really want to go to an area where they don't care about hockey? Tampa Bay imho is the most unlikely team for him to land with. But who knows, crazy things happen in this game.

Toronto Maple Leafs:
Now Toronto... the team raising eyebrows with their modest success so far this season. Looking to rebuild but playing a solid team game at the same time under Wilson, Toronto is proving to everyone that they're not throwing in the towel this season just to enter the Tavares sweepstakes. Nonetheless, they're still a team that is rebuilding with no true superstars on the team that plays a tough grind-it-out game everynight.

Sundin Toronto bound: 8/10 - The leader of Toronto for the past decade, I don't know if he wants to throw that all away by joining another team just to win a Stanley Cup. If so, he would've waived his no-trade clause last season. Maybe he thinks with him in the lineup, they can surprise everybody and make it in the playoffs which would definitely solidify him as one of the greatest Leaf of all time.

The possibilities are endless with every team wanting the superstar, but only one will get him. My pick is Toronto or Vancouver considering the cap issues and chance of success. The problem is I don't think he wants to throw away his legacy in Toronto for the money. My prediction is... he'll be back with the blue and white this season and the next. But who knows, maybe he'll end up in Philly or some team that is completely off the radar now. We'll have to wait and see.