Monday, June 11, 2007
To Sign, or Not to Sign
The Toronto Maple Leafs missed the playoffs in 2006-2007 and will need to get creative in the summer to make a push for the playoffs next season. And a huge part of next season is Mats Sundin.
This year is the last year in his contract, his option year. Rumors his career would end or be delayed because of a hip problem have been dismissed and he can focus on hockey. But what is next for his hockey career?
He is very close to a deal that will see him sign a 1-year extension, but the Leafs organization would have gladly extended his contract by 2 or 3 years. This is purely Sundin's decision, and he says he wants to be in full control of what happens over the next few years. A Ray Bourque situation may arise here with Sundin as well.
Sundin has been so great in his career with the Leafs. Sundin has led the Leafs in scoring in 11 of his 12 seasons with the team. In 1,231 career games, he has 523 goals, which is 29th-best in NHL history and only one behind Bryan Trottier, and he has 720 assists for 1,243 points, which puts him 33rd on the all-time league list. But the Leafs have never won the cup.
The problem that the Leafs have right now, is that they need to get some players around Sundin fast. Players like Alex Steen and Kyle Wellwood will not be playing their best hockey until their late 20's.
But the Sundin issue is only 1 of many issues that the Maple Leafs staff have to face, in order for the Leafs to be a contender in future years.