Eventually we'll stop talking about Mats. Very soon, I expect. For now, I just wanted to add my response to DGB's last post. This was, in fact, going to be just a comment to his post, but I didn't want the length of my response to overcrowd his work so I've posted it over here.
I think it's interesting that Dimanno of all people has scooped 2 exclusives with Sundin since the Festival Cup in September, which she also covered.
Each time her contention was that Sundin's pride was hurt and needed healing but was still keeping Toronto open as an option and that the Leafs weren't showing enough interest in bringing him back (or in generating a postive response to his return):
Yet his interest is clearly perked when informed about one well-connected hockey journalist who reported yesterday that coach Ron Wilson believes Sundin will return as a Leaf at some point this year.
"Wilson said that? But did he say he wants me to?''
Here's another quote from Sundin that explains why he didn't select the Leafs, from way back in May (not that you can believe anything he might say beyond a 3 month limit):
"First of all, for me to come back to Toronto, Toronto has got to show they really want me to come back, too," Sundin later added. "So we'll see what happens."
Cliff might have made a pitch for Sundin, but he never got the green light. By the time Mats had sorted things out, the "new guy" was in town and Burke has no loyalty to Sundin. Door closed.
Finally, go screw yourself, princess is absolutely fair, because that's exactly what happened. Mats screwed with Mats. His indecision and melancholy has made him appear passive and weak. His inability to rescue the team from disaster last year is evidence of a lack of assertiveness and character. Almost nothing is left of the team that he once led, and for good reason. Now I have nothing against a Captain wanting to go down with his ship in a vain attempt at turning it around and getting it back on course, but when the ship sinks to the bottom of the ocean, I also have no problem with the owner of the boat company telling the Captain "go screw yourself if you think you're gonna get a raise".
Mats screwed Mats when he alone decided that the Leafs still had a chance to make the playoffs and then led the team to a colossal train wreck at season's end. Rather then assume responsibility, Sundin then became a silent recluse while those who served under his leadership, Maurice, Tucker, Wellwood, McCabe, one by one were made to walk the plank and thrown overboard. The Captain, who nobly went down with the ship, then told us he wasn't coming back unless we convinced him otherwise.
I think the appropriate response from Leaf management would've been to say, "Mats we really appreciate everything you've done for us, and truly respect your talents as a hockey player and your class as a person, but, seriously, this time, go screw yourself, princess".