The Myth of Sisyphus
As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was compelled to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he reached the top of the hill, the rock always escaped him and he had to begin again.I always liked and respected Mats Sundin, even long before I moved to Toronto. Now living here, I've got a whole new respect for the big Swede.
And not so much for what he does on the ice, which has certainly been considerable this season, despite where the Maple Leafs are in the standings. No, the truly amazing and/or admirable thing about Sundin is that he can answer to the same inane line of questioning, over and over, and never lose his grin.
I would have carted myself to the funny farm by now, and told them to throw away the key.
The 'will they deal Sundin' business entered Round 147 on Wednesday night, despite the fact that, well, nothing happened. The trade deadline is 47 days away (!) and even after an awful, 2-7-2 skid that continued against Anaheim, Toronto's still in the mix.
Everyone is, in fact. (Minus the Kings.)
Even after essentially standing still the past two weeks, the Maple Leafs are only five points from eighth place, and 11 from second, and given the current 'points for everyone' format in the league, it's awfully tough to fall too far off the pace. Twenty games from now, it seems all but certain they'll be in the same place they've been all year, trying desperately to get those few extra points.
Should the Leafs trade Sundin? Probably. Heck, they probably should have done so last season at the trade deadline, when teams went bonkers and tossed prospects overboard simply to eke into the postseason and meekly exit in Round 1 (Hello Islanders, Nashville and Atlanta!)
Just look at how well Braydon Coburn's played in Philadelphia this season, less than a year after being swapped for the overpaid Alexei Zhitnik.
But (a) Sundin has a no-trade clause and wants to stay and (b) GM John Ferguson has one last gasp to turn this into a playoff team and he can't exactly do so after dealing the captain for futures.
The only way he goes anywhere, then, is if Toronto's well off the pace, ownership gives Ferguson some security and Sundin agrees to the move.
It ain't happening. And even if that unlikely scenario was to occur, something I'd put in the 1- to 5-per-cent probability range, why on earth are we speculating about it seven weeks in advance?
Wednesday morning, Sundin was in the papers. In the afternoon, on the radio, he was going through yet another round of saying how much he liked playing for the Leafs and that he had no plans to leave. At night, TSN broadcast the Colorado-Washington game, but the intermission and postgame conversation was Sundin filled.
Today, Sisyphean can be used as an adjective meaning that an activity is unending and/or repetitive. It could also be used to refer to tasks that are pointless and unrewarding.Sundin says he loves Toronto and wants to stay — but I can't help but think that makes him perfect for the funny farm.