Kukla's Korner

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Entries with the tag: mats sundin

Afternoon Line

"I was almost disgusted by their performance when they played Finland. I look at the Finnish team and they're missing key players. They don't have any of their big stars and now [Rask] is hurt and that Russian team is stacked with great players and to come out and have that performance they had in the quarterfinals. It was an absolutely heartless performance.

"It was very disappointing and I don't think it's very good for hockey either to have them out of their home tournament. You wonder when you have Putin in the stands on home ice and you can't get heart out of these guys? What's going to bring it out? I don't know."

-Mats Sundin on Team Russia's play at the Sochi Olympics.  More from Sundin at TSN.

Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin, sochi+olympics, team+russia

Time To Honor The Hockey Hall Of Fame Inductees

The induction ceremonies can be watched tonight beginning at 7:30pm ET on NHL Net US and TSN in Canada.

from Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s too bad NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weren’t at the fan forum leading up to Monday’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, especially given the pessimism that currently surrounds the labor talks. It’s too bad the two leaders couldn’t have seen firsthand the kind of special bond that exists between fans and players -- in this case, Hall of Fame inductees Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure and Mats Sundin -- the kind of relationship the lockout puts at risk. 

Several fans told Bure that he was the reason they became hockey followers. Another fan spoke with reverence at a memory of Sakic stopping during a Stanley Cup celebration to get his young son a drink of water. 

Many of the 250 or so fans crammed into the Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame in downtown Toronto were sporting jerseys with the inductees’ names on the back. 

Funny that during an hourlong question-and-answer session Sunday, an annual event since 1999, when Wayne Gretzky was inducted, not one question was asked about the lockout. It was certainly a measure of the respect that the fans have for the four inductees and maybe, just maybe, a reflection of the anger and apathy that threatens the game during the second lockout in the past eight years. 

continued

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: adam+oates, joe+sakic, mats+sundin, pavel+bure

The Best Toronto Maple Leafs Player?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

Darryl Sittler led the Leafs in scoring seven different times. Mahovlich did it five times; Keon three times. And for two and a half seasons of magic, no Leaf player was ever better than Doug Gilmour. But longevity disqualifies him from any meaningful debate about the top player in Leafs history. He had the top season.

But it's difficult, on this Hall of Fame weekend, on any scale, to find a Leaf greater than Sundin. Keon was the most complete player of the Stanley Cup years. Sittler the most explosive later on. Mahovlich the most talented.

Mats Sundin may not be the best Leaf of all ... the question is, who was better?

read on plus a few hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Why Sundin?

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

I always suspected Mats Sundin would be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, but not on the first ballot.

With all due respect to the big Swede, I always felt there was enough ammunition for not voting him into the Hall that, at the very least, he would have to wait a few more years before being enshrined.

No Stanley Cup. No trips to the Stanley Cup final. No major league awards. He finished in the top 10 in NHL scoring just once. He was never a first team all-star.

Despite an otherwise great career, there just seemed to be too many reasons to force Sundin to wait longer than the required minimum of four years a player needs to be retired to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. And I certainly didn’t see him getting in ahead of Brendan Shanahan who won three Stanley Cups and was one of the games most feared combinations of goals and grit.

continued

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  Tags: hockey+hall+of+fame, mats+sundin

Video- Sundin And Roenick Honored By Their Respective Teams

from NHL.com,

Mats Sundin thanked his family, teammates, coaches and the fans of Toronto before a banner honoring his No. 13 was raised to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre prior to the Maple Leafs’ game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.

The Leafs also honored Sundin, the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987) by having all of their players wear jerseys with his uniform number during warmups. He was saluted with a video presentation of career highlights and a roaring, tumultuous ovation when he was introduced to the sellout crowd – many of whom wore jerseys with his name and number.

continued

from Jerry Brown at NHL.com,

Before a standing-room only crowd packed with Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks fans, Jeremy Roenick entered the Coyotes Ring of Honor on Saturday – but not before coming up with one more stunning effort on the ice.

He held his acceptance speech to less than the allotted four minutes.

continued

Watch both ceremonies below…

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, d, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jeremy+roenick, mats+sundin

Toronto Honors Sundin Tonight

from Doug Gilmour at the Toronto Sun,

Over the years, I’ve heard about how Mats didn’t really get the full respect he deserved from Leaf fans during his time in Toronto because he might not crush defenders all over the ice like Wendel did, or perform with the same style as yours truly.

In my mind, that has never been a fair comparison.

Everyone is different. Everyone plays with their own style.

Inside our dressing room with the Maple Leafs, we knew what we had with Mats. He was a warrior, a trait he never fully got credit for outside of our room.

But, like I said, we knew.

With Mats deservedly having his No. 13 honoured on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre prior to the game against the Montreal Canadiens, there has been a lot of suggestions that he finally is getting the appreciation he deserved now that he has been out of sight, out of mind for a few years.

more

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Is Mats Sundin A Hockey Hall Of Famer?

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

When looking through our crystal ball at the first-time candidates who will be eligible for induction next year, four names jump off the page at you: Sundin, Joe Sakic, Jeremy Roenick and Brendan Shanahan.

A legitimate argument may be made that this could be potentially the strongest class since the 2007 edition, when defencemen Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis and forwards Mark Messier and Ron Francis were welcomed into the hallowed Hall.

While Sakic should be the obvious slam dunk of the group, it says here that Sundin, the long-time Maple Leafs captain, deserves to get in during his first year of eligibility.

more

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Who Knew Sundin Was Interested In Bears?

from Keith Gerein of the Edmonton Journal,

Of all the places to meet a celebrity, the backwoods of Sweden might seem to be among the least likely.

That’s what Gordon Stenhouse thought when he travelled to the Scandinavian wilderness in April to conduct research on grizzly bears.

One day, on a field trip, Stenhouse’s camp received a surprise visitor. The new arrival did not have brown fur, a long snout and dark eyes, but instead came with blond hair, blue eyes and a face recognizable from countless broadcasts of Hockey Night in Canada.

It was retired Swedish superstar Mats Sundin.

“When I was there, it was not too long after Canada won hockey gold in the Olympics, so I took over some Team Canada jerseys for the Swedish researchers—not wanting to rub it in or anything,” Stenhouse said. “Well, they made a phone call to Mats and he came up from Stockholm with his father. It turns out he is very interested in wildlife and the bear project in Sweden.”

continue to read about research that could help Alberta improve the status of its threatened grizzly population.

 

Filed in: Hockey Related Stories, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Evening Line

“I saw Mats in Vegas at the awards and he told me wasn’t going to come back.  He had a great career and I really enjoyed my time with him. I thought he was a great guy and, obviously, we saw glimpses of what he could do at times.”

-Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo.  More on Sundin from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun.

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Remembering Sundin

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

Off the ice, all the long-time SportsCentre watchers will remember Sundin was a player that stuck closely to the party line – whatever the issue. You always had the sense that he had more to say, but he wouldn’t permit himself to venture onto controversial ground. Maybe all those years as Leafs’ captain turns you into that – and makes your first instinct to defuse any potential controversies by being as bland as humanly possible.

Too bad. I’d like to have heard more from Sundin over the years because there seemed to be a lot of depth there. He was uniquely positioned in the Centre Of The Hockey Universe to push for the changes that Brendan Shanahan and others eventually put into place.

more

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Sundin Done

via Darren Dreger of TSN,

Mats Sundin has ended the speculation and has officially announced his retirement.

The former Toronto Maple Leafs captain made the announcement around 6:40am eastern at a press conference in Sweden.

Sundin leaves the NHL having amassed 1,349 points, ranking him 25th on the all-time list.

added 8:49am, from Reuters,

“It’s a little sad to announce that my career as a professional hockey player is over,” he told reporters at a press conference in Stockholm.

“I would have loved to play until the age of 65, but as a hockey player you obviously retire a little earlier than that,” added the 38-year-old, who began his NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques in 1990 after being drafted in the first round in 1989.

more

added 9:55am, from Damian Cox of the Spin,

Five years from now, Sundin should be a first ballot Hall of Fame selection. But the Leafs shouldn’t wait that long to raise his No. 13 to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre. Next season, perhaps, would be perfect, just to make doubly sure he’s committed to retirement.

more

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Report- Sundin Negotiating With Canucks

from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,

The 38-year-old Swede is said to be in negotiations with the Canucks and could sign a contract valued in the neighborhood of $2 million to be the team’s second-line centre. Vancouver may be prepared to make a trade if it is necessary to fit Sundin under the salary cap, if necessary.

“Mats enjoyed his time in Vancouver last season and is looking forward to playing with the team this year,” a source told Sportsnet.ca.

more

added 9:55am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,

Well, here’s a news flash, the odds of Sundin playing at all are very slim.

Retirement is a safer bet than Sundin resigning with the Vancouver Canucks, or any other NHL team.

JP Barry, Sundin’s agent responded to a report Sundin is in negotiation with the Canucks with a strong denial.

“There have been zero negotiations with Vancouver or any team for that matter,” Barry told TSN.

continued

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Nice Day For A Wedding

The Toronto Sun and Sportsbladet have pictures of Sundin’s wedding if you are interested.

image

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Will Sundin Return Or Retire?

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Amid speculation that Sundin has played his last NHL game, Sundin’s agent J.P. Barry, who is in Stockholm for Sundin’s wedding this Saturday, said he expects his client to make up his mind in short order after his wedding. Certainly, it won’t be the half-season soap opera we saw last season when Sundin was waffling over his hockey future before signing with the Vancouver Canucks.

“I think he’s going to talk to me next week, after all this is over,” Barry said. “I’ll get a clear picture pretty quickly. He’s not going to wait as long (as last year) or anything like that. This is an important event for him and then he’s going to make some decisions after this.”

Barry said he wasn’t sure whether Sundin would be available for training camps that begin in mid-September, but said Sundin has kept in shape and continued to train through the summer.

more

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Hey Vancouver - How About Sundin?

from Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province,

Based on how Day 1 of free agency unfolded, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis is talking seriously about trying to bring 38-year-old Mats Sundin back for another season.

The kind of eye-popping deals being signed over the course of the day, with the dollar figures and terms being thrown around, simply didn’t fit with Gillis’s salary cap management model.

With all the blue-chip forwards — both real and imagined — having been signed on Wednesday, it leaves the Canucks to look at other options. And, that’s where Sundin comes in.

Some in Canucks Nation will be groaning at this prospect, but take a look at it from Gillis’s perspective.

continued

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Sundin Thinking About His Future

from the CP via TSN,

Sundin said he is still pondering about his future in the NHL and did not rule out playing another season with Vancouver.

“Absolutely,” he was quoted as saying when asked if he might play again with the Canucks. “I will think about my future the next couple of weeks. I will make a decision in the summer. I can’t say more right now.”

more including Mats say he will not be playing for Team Sweden in the upcoming Olympics…

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Evening Line

“Last summer, obviously, I didn’t know whether I was going to play or not and I definitely am going to take my time to make a good decision this summer. Right now, I wouldn’t know what my future is going to be, whether I will play or not.”

-Mats Sundin.  More from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun.

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Rest May Be Best For Sundin

from the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog,

Is there anything more tiresome or a greater waste of time than a Mats Sundin scrum? The man moved far more deftly than at any time he’s been on the ice by doging all the questions about his absence in Game 3 and the possibility of him playing Game 4.

He did make one slip however, admitting that in fact he did hurt himself in the third period not the first period (which Alain Vigneault claimed in his post-game news conference Sunday iin what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to mislead people).

“I haven’t spoken to the doctor yet today,” said Sundin after missing the Canuck practice Monday, he believed to have either a groin or hip problem. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow.”

Given Vancouver is up 3-0 in the series, it’s unlikely he’ll play Tuesday night, for if Vancouver win they will free up at least another week for him to rest whatever ails him to get him ready for the next series

continue for more on the Canucks and Blues…

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  Tags: mats+sundin

No Sundin Tonight

via TSN,

The Vancouver Canucks will not have forward Mats Sundin for Game 3 of their series with the St. Louis Blues with what the team is a calling a ‘lower-body injury.’

Sundin, who is averaging just over 15 minutes per game in the series appeared to injure himself half-way through the third period of Friday night’s Game 2 victory.  Although he finished the game, he received a great deal of treatment following the win.

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Disappointed In- Sundin Or Jokinen?

from TSN, Every week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

Among the big late season acquisitions, who has been the biggest disappointment Mats Sundin or Olli Jokinen?

Bob McKenzie: I’ll go with Mats Sundin, only because his body of work with the Vancouver Canucks is larger than that of Olli Jokinen with the Calgary Flames.  Having said that, I believe that the prospect of Mats Sundin reversing what has happened in the regular season and making noise in the playoffs is far greater than Jokinen with the Flames.

Keith Jones: For me it is Olli Jokinen and for this reason: he shoots the puck a lot; therefore Mike Cammalleri has stopped scoring goals.  Since the trade deadline just three goals for Cammalleri due to the negative effect of Olli Jokinen.

more questions answered…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin, olli+jokinen

Afternoon Line

“Just look at the standings. [Friday’s] game was a huge two points for us and it set this game up in Chicago. We see where we are in the standings. We see the battle we’re in with Calgary and Chicago and even Columbus. We see how huge this game is.”

-Mats Sundin of the Vancouver Canucks talking about today’s game against Chicago.  More on the Canucks from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province.

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Can a Stanley Cup Get Them in the HHOF?

From Ryan Kennedy at The Hockey News:

For a number of veteran players, that elusive Lord Stanley is the one piece of the puzzle left in what could be a Hall of Fame career. Let’s look at the candidates.

Mats Sundin, Vancouver – As my colleague Brian Costello has posited in the past, Sundin is not quite a Hall of Famer just yet. But the way I see it, clinching a championship would put him in. The big Swede’s next goal will put him past former teammate Joe Nieuwendyk for 20th all-time in NHL history (Teemu Selanne passed both of them and Mike Bossy this year) and he also ranks 33rd overall in assists (passing Jean Ratelle, but getting passed by Mike Modano) and 25th all-time in points.

Stats aside, I really get the sense the Hall of Fame wants him in.

continued…

And while you’re at THN, you can check out Risto Pakarinen’s piece on Jonas Gustavsson, the netminder in the Swedish Elitserien finals, and on a record shutout streak which currently resides at 240 minutes and 25 seconds.

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: hhof, jonas+gustavsson, mats+sundin

A Night Sundin Will Not Forget

from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,

Sundin was tapped on the shoulder to take the third and final shot of the shootout and didn’t disappoint his teammates. He lifted a backhand over the right shoulder of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala to ice a 3-2 victory for the Canucks, their eighth in their past nine games.

It was a nice ending for the former Leafs captain, who tussled with his emotions in his first game in Toronto since he decided to continue his NHL career with the Canucks two months ago.

A few hours before his game-winning heroics, Sundin was feted with video tribute on his days with the Leafs that was shown on the scoreboard during the first television timeout. As the capacity crowd of 19,504 rose to their feet to applaud Sundin for at least 90 seconds, it became evident his eyes were watering as his emotions rose to the surface.

read on and below is an interview Elliotte Friedman of HNIC did with Sundin after the game.

Continue Reading »

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Sundin Feels Like He Is Home

from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,

“It feels like coming home,’’ the big Swede admitted last night, after pulling into his house, where he hadn’t been since last fall. “Toronto still feels like home to me.’‘

He admits to an escalating sense of the “jitters,” as curious as anyone else how the crowd will respond this evening, insisting that it won’t make a difference. “I don’t know if there will be jeers or cheers, probably both.”

But for those who do boo, Sundin wants to make one thing absolutely clear: “I was never a traitor to the Leaf franchise. I was proud of being a Leaf. There are so many memories that I will treasure forever – all the ups and downs, the friends I made, the fans who always treated me well.’‘

No regrets, he says, although there is a hint of poignancy in that declaration.

more

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Fans Have The Right To Boo Sundin

from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,

Ultimately, I expect any initial round of boos Sundin will hear Saturday night quickly will be drowned out by cheers of fans who are well within their right to appreciate the 13 years of loyal, classy service he provided to the team.

But I don’t fault any Leafs fan for tossing raspberries and profanity-riddled verbal bon mots Sundin’s way. They’ve got the right to do anything they want to do, just as Sundin, the great libertarian, did less than a year ago.

And if they choose to jeer him, they’ll be looking out for their own interests first – precisely what Sundin’s last lesson taught them.

more

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Sundin Talks Eastern Trip

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

The Canucks’ schedule will likely protect Sundin from the worst of the media hordes anyway. At the moment, they are supposed to stay over in Ottawa to practise Friday, and not travelling to Toronto until much later in the day. Hockey Night in Canada will do its obligatory interview with him there. Sundin will likely not appear in public until Saturday morning’s day-of-game skate at the Air Canada Centre.

“I might be more excited to play the game than he is,” said Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo. “I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to be a great atmosphere in the building. Everybody will be really pumped up. I enjoy playing in those cities to begin with. With all that added hype, it’ll be fun.”

more

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The Countdown Begins

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Ready or not, Toronto, here comes Mats.

In just five days, Mats Sundin returns to the Air Canada Centre, this time wearing a Vancouver Canucks jersey, not the familiar blue-and-white of the Maple Leafs.

And as the Saturday night tilt creeps closer, expect the type of pre-game hype usually reserved for a Super Bowl.

Know this: Sundin certainly won’t be sneaking into town—he comes back on Hockey Day in Canada.

continued

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Where’s Sundin?

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

Maybe it was unrealistic to expect him to make an immediate impact. Maybe it was unrealistic to expect him to step in and be the player we last saw in Toronto.

But, by any reasonable standard, he’s been here long enough to acclimatize himself to the NHL grind and bring his conditioning and timing up to an NHL standard. And not only has he failed there, he’s actually hindered the Canucks’ attempts to get on track.

Against the Wild, the final line told you all you needed to know—just over 17 minutes of ice time, minus-one, no points, three shots on goal, none of which resembled a scoring chance, and two more minors to his rapidly increasing PIM total.

But what that ledger doesn’t reveal is the number of times he was put in a position to make a difference; to change the momentum of the game or to sustain momentum in the Canucks’ favour. Alain Vigneault gave Sundin every chance to succeed, every chance to leave his imprint on this game. And each time he failed.

read on

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It’s Sundin Time

from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,

Small things. At Tuesday’s practice, Mats Sundin didn’t tag along behind Daniel and Henrik Sedin on the first power play, but confidently ran a second unit. The day before, Sundin not only survived the practice-ending conditioning skate, but led it. He had terrific scoring chances the last two games and finished one of them.

But so far, all Sundin has been able to offer are small things, dropped hints that he may be getting close to the player he was the last 17 National Hockey League seasons.

It is the big things from Sundin the Canucks are still awaiting and desperately need. A month into Sundin’s return to hockey, it’s about time he delivered them.

continued

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Shanahan vs. Sundin

from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,

Brendan Shanahan’s signing with the New Jersey Devils received barely a fraction of the ink that Mats Sundin got when he became a Vancouver Canuck, but one could argue that Shanahan might mean as much to his new team in the stretch run and into the playoffs….

Shanahan will take three Stanley Cup rings into the Devils dressing room, a cache that Sundin can only dream about. That kind of winning brings instant credibility, but in the case of Sundin, it’s something that still has to be earned. Shanahan won’t be looked upon as a saviour with the Devils, but more as a piece of the overall puzzle that could get the Devils deep into the playoffs. Sundin? Well, he has been treated as the second coming in Vancouver.

read on and more hockey notes…

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  Tags: brendan+shanahan, mats+sundin

Sundin Working To Get In Game Shape

from Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun,

“It felt like its the second game of the season, you know. I didn’t expect to feel any different than I have these first two games,” said Sundin, interrupting a post-game bicycle workout to accommodate the media in the hallway.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, in terms of timing and all that. There’s going to be a lot of ups and downs as we go along, but it’s nice in a way to get a chance to play right away again [tonight, against San Jose.]”

“It is going to take time, and we’re going to be talking about this for a while,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “There’s a reason why training camps are three weeks minimum, and it’s to get in game alertness, game shape, game speed, game execution—and Mats doesn’t have that.

“He’s been working extremely hard, and we hope that he’s going to be able to reach the pace of the NHL in a reasonable amount of time.”

more

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Who Knew The Circus Was In Edmonton

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

If you didn’t know any better you’d have sworn Bruce Springsteen had brought his show to town Wednesday with the crush of the media around Sundin’s dressing room stall after the morning skate.

His stall is between the Sedins, proving you can split up the twins Henrik and Daniel. Sundin was expecting a somewhat ruder reception from the Oilers, more along the lines of body contact than eye contact with the media scrum, but he was clearly tickled to be back at work.

more

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail is in Edmonton along with Damien Cox of the Toronto Star.

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Sundin Wants To Get One Good Practice In

from VancouverCanucks.com,

Both Mats Sundin and Vigneault have indicated that he will not play tonight and while Sundin will debut in a Canucks sweater tonight for jersey off our backs fan appreciation night, neither have a confirmed date for his debut in a Canucks sweater on skates.

“I haven’t even thought about dates to be honest with you,” said Sundin. “I’ll play it by day.”

Sundin continued skating in solo sessions while the team travelled to Nashville and Atlanta and participated in two game-day skates but has yet to join the team in a full practice since arriving at GM Place December 30.

“I think I need to skate with the team just once,” he said. “I haven’t had one practice yet with the whole group so I think getting a good practice, with two days, tomorrow and the next day, and then we can evaluate how everything feels.”

more on the Canucks…

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Afternoon Line

We all know it’s a long season and I missed the playoffs the last few seasons, so I’m going to do what I can to help the team get into the playoffs. That’s the most important thing, to secure a playoff spot.”

-Mats Sundin after his first practice with the Vancouver Canucks.  More at the Vancouver Sun.

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Can Better Hockey Socks Help Prevent Injuries?

from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,

It has taken a self-inflicted wound to keep Teemu Selanne from inflicting more pain on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at GM Place. It has also reopened debate within the NHL Players Association whether players are properly protected from razor-sharp blades penetrating ultra-thin uniforms….

“You think about the socks and how much that plays a role in it and how thin they are these days,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said Sunday. “I know I’ve spoken about it to a few people on the NHLPA and hopefully it’s something they address.”

read on

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  Tags: kevin+bieksa, mats+sundin

Gambling Or Not

from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,

Now that he’s a Vancouver Canuck, all bets are off on whether Mats Sundin will play again and where.

But that doesn’t mean wagering and Sundin can’t be used in the same sentence. Aside from the daily (hourly?) updates regarding Sundin until the merciful conclusion last week, the Big Swede had been most visible as a so-called “celebrity supporter” of Pokerstars.net.

While not associated with sports wagering, the free poker website is affiliated with a play-for-cash one based in the Isle of Man, a haven for internet gaming. Sundin’s link to the wildly popular poker site hasn’t raised red flags with NHL brass officially, but the league is at least investigating the association.

“We need to understand the nature of the relationship and the entity it’s with before we have an official position,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told Sun Media via e-mail yesterday.

“But I don’t anticipate that it is inconsistent with any of our policies. Pokerstars does not accept wagers.”

continued plus more hockey notes…

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Advice For Sundin

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Sundin is expected to make his debut with the Vancouver Canucks any time after New Year’s Day. He is 37, two-and-a-half years older than Niedermayer, with nearly 200 more NHL games played than the Anaheim defenceman.

“You’re stepping into a season [that is already] underway, where the team has got things going. Strategy-wise, personnel-wise … they’re already set with their D-partners, powerplay, penalty kill,” Niedermayer said. “And physically, there is a lot going on, obviously. Your legs, your hands…”...

“He has to have patience. His expectations will have to be a bit lower, at first,” Selanne warned Sundin. “It took me three weeks.”...

“It depends on how much intensity there has been in his workouts. You can’t know,” Carlyle said. “If it’s a sore hip, a sore groin, a sore back… Without the benefit of training camp, that’s one thing you have to be wary of. In essence, this is his training camp now.”

more

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It’s All About The Money

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Sundin followed his wallet instead of his heart. Good for him. Just one more mercenary the way pretty much professional athletes essentially are. They get it while they can, like most of us would….

The Rangers are going to lose any chance of competing for players who become available the rest of the year unless the general manager gets down to work and begins to create cap space for the rest of the season beyond the $1 million the Blueshirts now own.

Sundin went for the money. The Rangers didn’t have enough of it. Sather had better create cap space - and now - so that his team has enough of it when the next guy becomes available.

more

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Finally It Is Over

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

What a sham this has been, this three-penny opera….

For months, the hockey world has been consumed with speculation and conjecture about where Mats Sundin would land as though he was some god descending upon Mount Olympus with a lighting bolt in his hand instead of a hockey stick and a résumé chock full of holes.

The great Swede has been mythologized and courted and coveted; and now, mercifully, he is back, if for no other reason, so we can stop wondering which team will be blessed with his presence.

read on

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Evening Line

“I don’t think I’d be comfortable calling any team a contender other than maybe San Jose and Detroit, because they won last year. What we want to do is get into the playoffs and win round by round. For me, it’s more the process of how the team plays and the integrity it plays with. I know we’ll get results if we play that way.

“I think Mats is a great player that joins a good group of players committed to winning. I think we’re a better team for sure but I’m not going to place that label (Stanley Cup contender) on any team.”

-Canucks GM Mike Gillis at the press conference announcing the Sundin signing.  More from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail.

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  Tags: mats+sundin, mike+gillis

Report- Sundin A Canuck

If you only follow KK Hockey, then head over to Canucks & Beyond for all the news, which I am sure Alanah will be following.

added 6:36pm, I guess we can call Helene Elliott of the LA Times ‘crazy’.  In early November I asked a few MSM what team Sundin would choose, Helene was the only one to say Vancouver!

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It Could Happen

from 24 Hours Vancouver,

JUNE 15, 2009: The Mats Sundin sweepstakes will end tonight.

The 38-year-old Swede will finally choose a team, but you won’t see him on ice.

The professional poker player and former Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain announced in a statement via agent J.P. Barry that he would declare his loyalty to the New York Rangers or San Jose Sharks, depending on which team is leading after two periods in tonight’s seventh and deciding game of the Stanley Cup finals.

Should the teams be tied, Sundin will choose the team that scores the go-ahead goal.

continued

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Did You Expect Anything Different?

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

Mats Sundin is waiting for the Rangers to clear enough cap space to present him with a full-season $6 million contract offer before he commits to joining the Blueshirts New York Rangers , The Post has learned.

Thus, with the NHL holiday roster freeze going into effect Friday night at midnight and lasting through midnight Dec. 27, Sundin - who has a $10M offer on the table from the Canucks that he obviously is in no hurry to accept - is likely to remain unsigned until late in the month.

continued

added 10:21am, AM640 Toronto is reporting…

There will not be an annoucement from Mats Sundin, or his representatives today.  Sundin’s Swedish agent, Claus Elefalk, says Sundin will indeed decide before Christmas, but there is no Friday deadline, and a decision may not come until next week.

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  Tags: mats+sundin

If Sundin Chooses The Rangers

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

If the Rangers are informed that Sundin is following his heart to Broadway rather than his wallet to Vancouver, the Rangers would be able to place players on waivers up until 3 p.m. New York time on Friday.

Though they technically do not have to clear salary-cap space until they actually register Sundin’s contract (which won’t take place until a day or two before the center is deemed ready to play in a game), their failure to trim or reorganize the roster by Friday means the Rangers would be carrying two or three dead men skating throughout the freeze.

That’s obviously not ideal for club unity or morale. Neither will it be good for club unity or morale if Sundin, who is returning to Stockholm for Christmas, begins practicing with the Rangers the last week of December with the current roster intact….

This means the most likely options would involve deleting Petr Prucha and Dan Fritsche from the roster. Making both moves by Friday would add approximately $1.565 millionto the $1 million in cap space they’re currently holding.

more

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Down To Two Teams For Sundin

from Bob McKenzie of TSN,

Unless someone pulls a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute, Mats Sundin will be, by the end of this week, either a Vancouver Canuck or a New York Ranger.

Sundin met with Rangers’ GM Glen Sather on the weekend, but sources say the Rangers have yet to formally indicate exactly how much they are prepared, or able (because of the salary cap), to pay Sundin. Once Sundin’s agent J.P. Barry gets that information, perhaps in the next 24 to 48 hours, Sundin is expected to make a final decision on where he will play….

In the meantime, Sundin is heading home to Sweden. He has completed his training in North America and plans to keep skating while in Sweden, spending Christmas there before joining his new NHL team immediately after that.

more

added 4:12pm, Bob McCown of Fan590 just reported he has been told Sundin has made his decision and he has chosen the New York Rangers.  It will be announced later this week.

added 5:06pm, Link to Fan590 quoting Bob…

Update 6:12pm ET: (Alanah)  TSN added to their story with this—

There had been speculation that Sundin had already made his decision and that he was about to sign with the Rangers, however Barry dismissed the rumours.

“No decision has been made,” Barry told TSN. “(It is) inaccurate speculation.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Trouble May Be Ahead For Sundin

from Damien Cox of the Spin, his blog at the Toronto Star,

Mats Sundin, it would appear, has three choices.

Two make sense. One is a terrible risk.

The risky choice is to succumb to the pull of the hockey world and announce a return to the NHL sometime before Christmas.

This, it appears, is what most believe is going to happen. And that’s too bad.

See, the smarter choices for Sundin would be to either retire - which I’ve come to believe is what he really wants to do - or take the season off entirely and then join a new team next summer.

Jumping into the fray now is a recipe for trouble.

continued

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  Tags: mats+sundin

No To Sundin

from Steve Rosenbloom of Rosen Blog at the Chicago Tribune,

Sundin has never been on a champion. He chose not to try last season. How can you not question his heart or spine at this point? I’m not sure I’d want Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews exposed to a whiff of that mentality.

Right now, this Hawks team has shown wonderful character and focus. This Hawks team also is playing perhaps the most exciting brand of hockey in the league.

This Hawks team is not ready to beat Detroit in the playoffs, either.

So that’s the problem. I don’t think Sundin is the solution.

more

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Canucks Making Their Pitch For Sundin

from Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail,

The Vancouver Canucks expect to speak with free-agent forward Mats Sundin this weekend, and they expect the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain will reach a decision on his NHL playing future in the next week….

...the biggest knock on Sundin joining the Canucks has been Vancouver’s extensive travel schedule. There was also the question whether the Canucks would be competitive in the Western Conference, as Sundin was expected only to consider teams that have a chance of winning the Stanley Cup.

But after next Saturday’s game against the Oilers, the Canucks will have played 19 of their 41 road games and have just two long trips remaining.

read on

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  Tags: mats+sundin

Dater With Sundin Talk

from Adrian Dater of All Things Avs,

I’m reasonably confident the Avs have put their hat in the ring for the Mats Sundin “sweepstakes.” But I’d say they have about a 5 percent chance of getting the chrome-domed Swede into a Burgundy and Blue uniform.

I think Philadelphia and Chicago are the clubhouse leaders to land Sundin, according to my sources from the end of the bar. Vancouver has an existing offer on the table, at an astounding two years and $20 million (which would obviously be pro-rated now). But I’d place the Canucks third in the hunt at the moment.

continued

added 9:19am, The Instigators debuted last night on NESN and Jack Edwards, Mike Millbury and Andy Brickley discussed players coming back in mid-season.  Watch it here....

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

A Plea For Sundin

from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,

Sign Mats Sundin.

In the last two weeks, it’s become even more clear that the Rangers need a legit top six forward or center to capture a ready-to-win, weakened East, in which six teams seem already out of the playoffs: Panthers, Islanders, Leafs, Thrashers, Lightning, Senators. The Sabres and Flyers will battle for eighth.

If you penciled in Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan for 30 to 40 goals between them, well…and Henrik Lundqvist—-while on track for a Vezina—-cannot be expected to carry this current roster past the first round of the playoffs.

Sundin, who is working out in California, was paid $5.5 million by the Maple Leafs last season, $2.1 million less than he made in 2006-07.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

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