You know, there was a lot of things that came to mind when Nonis got fired. First came shock, then came denial, then came acceptance. Nonis was great for the Canucks, he brought Luongo here, added to our extremely bare cupboard of prospects. The only bomb of a prospect he drafted was Pat White, but everyone has a bad pick.
When Gillis came, I had a little bit of hope, but I obviously wasn’t impressed with what he said about Nonis. Blaming him for the team being the way it is, but thats another story completely. Gillis promised big changes and results. We got some change, but not at the level he promised. He basically revamped out fourth line, and got Demitra and Bernier to replace Naslund and Morrison. Not that much of a upgrade considering Demitra is made of glass, and Bernier has not lived up to expectations.
When Sundin was offered 10 million over 2 years, my jaw dropped as I walked aimlessly around the neighborhood trying to make sense of this obvious overpayment. Gillis promised youth and change, and then he offered 10 million dollars to a guy who is almost 40, approx 3 million more then what ANY other team would have offered him. Doesn’t make Naslund look overpaid anymore does it?
Despite this, Sundin still did not sign with the Canucks. Taking a page from the Neidermyers and Selanne’s of the world, he decided he was not sure if he would play anymore. He set a “deadline” for August saying that if he were to play with a team, he would like to join training camp and be with the team from the start. Once again reiterating the reason why he did not waive his NTC as he believed that winning the cup should be something that a person should do from the start of a season and not to come as a rental player. It was something I could understand, since he was a free agent and could do whatever he pleased. I can respect that he wanted to feel the grind from the beginning, forging relationships with his new respective team mates and working hard towards their goals from the beginning.
As I quickly saw all the big names pass by, followed by all the mid-level free agents, I thought to myself, well, at least Sundin will make a decision soon. I mean, there’s 20 million on the table for crying out loud. As Sundin’s deadline approached and passed, I really had to wonder about the integrity of such a guy. I highly respected Sundin for his commitment to Toronto and sticking with the sinking ship known as the Leafs for so many years, so I decided to give him a chance since the next team he would play for would most likely be his last. It’s a big decision I understand that. He want’s to make sure that he is fully committed to whatever he does.
Over the next 6 months, Sundin has been linked, de-linked, and re-linked with just about every team in the league. 593,530,399,939,534 soft deadlines later, he has narrowed it down to two teams. The Rangers and the Canucks. Visions of 94’ come flashing back. The hope when we pushed the finals to game 7, followed by the great 2 goals scored in game 7 of the finals all came gushing back, and I actually started to care a ‘bit’ about this whole fiasco. Then I’m reminded we lost that year. As the 15th of Dec. approaches another soft deadline is passed, and another lie made. This time, there were hints that Sundin was waiting for the raising of Linden’s jersey was over before he decided to sign with the Canucks. Lindens jersey certainly did rise, but Sundin was nowhere closer to a decision.
Gillis announced that Sundin and his agent has set Thursday Dec. 18 as a deadline date. Finally, some closure to this melodrama of a saga. Yet, reality hits once again as Sundin’s agent states that he actually meant the weekend.
Now, one has to ask themselves something. How much credibility does a guy like this have? It’s pretty obvious to me that the Canucks are not his first choice. I seriously doubt that he is even their 2nd our 3rd choice. If he had any inkling of being here besides the money, he would have signed here from day one. The only reason he hasn’t signed is because he is trying to grind out as much money as possible from his “real choices”. Gillis is obviously being played for a fool. The only way I see Sundin signing in Vancouver is if the Rangers don’t clear enough cap space. Hence the reason why Sundin now is suspected to wait till after christmas to sign.
All I can say now is, I have no faith in Sundin or his agent. Their credibility is zero. Any respect I once had for them is now gone. I don’t want Sundin here. I would rather use the capspace to get prospects and picks from teams wanting to dump their dead weight. It makes more sense to give the ice time to young prospects such as Raymond and hansen then to give it to a indecisive 38 yearold lying veteran who is not sure what he values more, money or winning a cup.
Gillis should just pull his offer from the table and make Sundin either sign for a 1-2 million with New york or just retire and put this ridiculous saga to an end. This has dragged on for so long, it makes the forsberg come back seem refreshing.