Sundin says 'no'
"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL Club at this time. I have never believed in the concept of a rental player. It is my belief that winning the Stanley Cup is the greatest thing you can achieve in hockey but for me, in order to appreciate it you have to have been part of the entire journey and that means October through June. I hope everyone will understand and respect my decision."There are going to be some who hold it against Sundin that he won't take a turn as a rental, go to another team and re-sign this summer in Toronto. On some level, that's the move that would most help the Maple Leafs.
But a no-trade clause is what it is, and this was always a very real possibility. I'm actually surprised Sundin even considered waiving it, given his position all season has been that he didn't intend to go anywhere. And now that he's turned down the request, you wonder what sort of contract he'll sign for next season, how much it'll be for and if the clause is called for once again.
Because from the looks of the Leafs' roster at the moment, missing the postseason next year remains a distinct possibility.
Toronto has 18 players under contract for next season at a total of a little more than $43-million; barring some unforeseen deadline magic by Cliff Fletcher, that doesn't leave them a heckuva lot of maneuvering room next year.
Bring back Sundin for somewhere in the neighbourhood of $5-million, and what's left to accomplish?
How is this team better off next season?