Bryan McCabe is officially no longer a Maple Leaf.
Mats Sundin is back in town for a charity hockey game.
Jaredoflondon has magical powers!
Who is the "interesting mystery personality" that has just been added to the growing list of famous names scheduled to attend the Festival Cup?
And why has no one heard of the Festival Cup before?
So, Cliff had a plan to make the 16th Captain more comfortable, and now Sundin has come back to witness the "final execution" of that masterplan, that is - the realization of a once-considered impossible challenge of dispatching Bryan McCabe to anywhere for anything.
If you admire Sundin and you still want to see him return to the NHL as a Maple Leaf, don't give up hope. The door is still open. For all other teams, however, time has run out. Sundin is nowhere near being ready for opening night, so that eliminates any "group" considering itself a contender.
"I never believed in rental players to start with," Sundin told reporters. "I think if you want to be part of the team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup or a team that is going far in the playoffs, my opinion has always been that you want to be there from training camp or the start of the season to be part of the group."
We know Sundin is not, and will never, ever be, a rental player for a contending team. That leaves only the Leafs and other teams that suck, and I can't imagine him finishing his brilliant career with a half-season on some crappy team, unless for some reason, it's what he dreams about it.
"My dream and the best scenario would be if I ended my career as a Toronto Maple Leaf."
Remember the Dream, Mats. One last time, one more year. Dream.
Here's how it goes down: Cliff says to Mats, "This is what I'm going to do...", then he whispers in Mats' ear. Mats says, "Wow, the whole team! That would be comfortable! Sounds too good to be true and I've been fooled by you guys once before. Call me when it's done. Until then, I'm going fishing." Fletcher's a responsible guy and he can't chase Sundin the way he deserves, so he does the next best thing: he trades the right to do it to Bob Gainey. It's a test of faith, but also a way of flattering Sundin the way he ought to be, by letting someone else do it. Gainey goes to Sweden, Vancouver perpetuates its own fantasy, and meanwhile Fletcher keeps himself busy improving the hockey club.
Sundin never had any desire to play for anyone else, but he also had no desire to waste an entire summer training and conditioning for a team he's not employed to, that owes him no commitment, and may not follow up on its promises. Cliff went to work while Sundin went fishing. Essentially, he retired at that point. Now that Cliff's work is done, Sundin can begin to see if his body is ready for another NHL season, and if his spirit is willing to return to that level. Friday, at the Festival Cup, is Step One.
I'm sure by now everyone is dying of anticipation, wondering who is the "interesting mystery personality" attending the Festival Cup, but first let me point out some important names that have already been announced. Curtis Joseph, Doug Gilmour, Matt Stajan, will all be playing, but there's also Joe Nieuwendyk, not officially participating, but he'll be hangin' around the building somewhere. Both Cujo and Joe are good friends with Sundin and are likely to encourage him one way or another.For Stajan, the game possibly represents a passing of the torch. It is beginning to look more and more like Matt Stajan is being groomed to be the next Captain of the Maple Leafs. While Kaberle has been invisible this summer, Stajan has introduced Leaf fans to a free (promotional) exhibition contest, and is now representing the Leafs at a high profile charity event. One thing is clear: Mats Sundin is no longer the Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, nor will he be on opening night. Sundin may yet return, but the Blood Of My Chief waits for no one. Along with a new "A", there will be a 17th Captain wearing the "C" for that first game. With the departure of McCabe, and the indefinite absence of Sundin, Stajan will have a letter on the front of his sweater, it's just a question of which one.
Exclusive Leafs(sort of)-Hockey-Fan-Related Minor Announcement
And now finally, the moment you've all be waiting for! About to be revealed for the very first time, the "interesting mystery personality" whose name has been added to the exciting list of celebrities and hockey players appearing at the Festival Cup! Joining Mats Sundin, Cujo, Stajan, Doug Gilmour, along with Sean Avery, Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza and Steve Stamkos, will be, from Hollywood; Luc Robitaille, Tim Robbins, Alan Thicke and... (if you guessed Kirk Cameron, boy, you are so close!) In fact, the latest addition to this exciting list of names is none other then me, Leaf-blogger extraordinaire, general borschevsky! The guy who's typing what your eyes are reading. Yep, just your usual general borschevsky will be in attendance at the Festival Cup. I will not be participating in the actual game, but I will be surveying and recording the action and events in my mind (or with a notepad, I haven't decided yet) and will post the results as soon as I can. So, probably long after you've already read about it somewhere else.
Thanks for dropping by everybody. Lots more to come!