Jul 042009
 

As free agency rolls along, as last year, Mats is is no hurry whatsoever to get a deal. This time around though it plays into the Canucks favour, for the time being at least, as it allows Gillis to focus his efforts on signing other key UFAs and RFAs before dealing with the veteran Swede. I wrote in an earlier post that I thought Mats was worth only 2 million a year for another year in a Canucks uniform and it seems a lot of people think I’m absolutely crazy for thinking he’ll even consider that kind of money. Other fans playing arm chair GM are willing to spend as much as 4 million on the guy, so here’s my take on things.

Sundin has a value and a roll that is intangible. It’s a roll that was once played by Trevor Linden. Now before I offend anyone, know that I’m not trying to compare the two, or suggest that Sundin is a replacement for Linden, but his role and expectation from the team and the fans – should he come back – is one of leadership, clutch play, and mentorship.

Having a big center like him who can elevate his play when needed (as he showed in the series against the Blackhawks) is lacking from this Canucks team that is a few pieces away from being contenders. With the liklihood of Hodgson coming up next year having a veteran center like Sundin is even more important. But, Sundin is 38, and it’s no secret that he struggled to get back in shape and keep up with a game and a team that is moving towards faster and purer hockey.

If I have Sundin back I don’t want him to play all 82 games. I don’t think he can play all 82 games. He has the potential for groin injury and his importance and presence is needed more in the second half of the season than the first. If Sundin comes back, I want him to play the way Linden did, scratched every few games, rested every few nights, but down the stretch playing and contributing to winning 2 points every night.

Sundin wants to play here again. Gillis wants him back. He last year was originally offered a two year contract so the pieces in play all line up. Mats wants to play for a contender and there are no other teams with cap space to offer him the contract he got last year, or teams that want to take a gamble on a 38 year old injury prone center. I have this feeling that Sudin likes what’s going on with this team and he’d take a pay cut to allow Gillis to make the right moves and to stay on a team that has a legitimate chance to win every night.

If you’re willing to give Sundin 4 million dollars for the season, because that’s the going rate for centers of his calibre, that’s centers playing 82 games. I don’t expect him to play all 82, I’d be happy with 41. If he’s playing half a season, he’s only worth 2 million dollars against the cap so that Gillis can afford to fill the other gaps and bring in the one or two players needed to take this team and it’s offense to the next level. If you give Sundin 4 million dollars, he has to play all 82 games, and he wont. He can’t.

  • Punji

    Your an idiot, Sundin would never willingly play half a season. He a real competitor and he has stated he wnats to play all the time and have more mins. He also was used improperly in Vancouver by the coach. A center like that need 18-20 mins a game. He also was a strong defensive presence in Toronto but was given 0 time on the penalty kill.

    He will get 4-5 million, because he elevated his game in the playoffs. If Gionta is worth 5 million a season, i’ll bet on Sundin being worth that much

  • Punji

    Your an idiot, Sundin would never willingly play half a season. He a real competitor and he has stated he wnats to play all the time and have more mins. He also was used improperly in Vancouver by the coach. A center like that need 18-20 mins a game. He also was a strong defensive presence in Toronto but was given 0 time on the penalty kill.

    He will get 4-5 million, because he elevated his game in the playoffs. If Gionta is worth 5 million a season, i’ll bet on Sundin being worth that much

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    You’re the idiot. You can’t even spell the word You’re properly.

    Second of all, he can’t play the way he did in Toronto. It’s a fact. You’re fantasizing about what Sundin can do.

    The reality is what I wrote about which is why if we want to get the maximum value from him we will taper his play and save him for the playoffs.

    How can you call him a “Strong Defensive Presence” when he CHANGES SHIFTS on the back check? NO Player is allowed to get away with that except him and it puts the Center coming on after him (in most cases Wellwood) the responsibility of chasing down the play.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com Richard Loat

    You’re the idiot. You can’t even spell the word You’re properly.

    Second of all, he can’t play the way he did in Toronto. It’s a fact. You’re fantasizing about what Sundin can do.

    The reality is what I wrote about which is why if we want to get the maximum value from him we will taper his play and save him for the playoffs.

    How can you call him a “Strong Defensive Presence” when he CHANGES SHIFTS on the back check? NO Player is allowed to get away with that except him and it puts the Center coming on after him (in most cases Wellwood) the responsibility of chasing down the play.

  • Jason

    Punji is the man. R Loat is a tool. If you actually watched sundin in TO you would note he would play 20-24 mins a game and killed all penalties and was out on every power play.

    The man is a horse and needs to be played like one for his chances to come. 15 mins a game? Give me a break, he can still play 18-20 at age 38, no question.

  • Jason

    Punji is the man. R Loat is a tool. If you actually watched sundin in TO you would note he would play 20-24 mins a game and killed all penalties and was out on every power play.

    The man is a horse and needs to be played like one for his chances to come. 15 mins a game? Give me a break, he can still play 18-20 at age 38, no question.

  • Johnnie

    RL is an idiot.

    Changing on the back check is completely normal. In fact, any coach would strongly encourage his players to get off the ice if they are tired – especially if the play is moving into your own zone. As for who replaces him, that is a coaching decision, not something the player concerns himself with while on the ice.

    As for Sundin’s contribution and the amount of games played. When he was in TO, with Quinn, he only average 17-19 minutes (other comparable players got 18-21 minutes). Other coaches in TO played him more and his increased production reflected the increased ice-time. Since he is getting older, he may need to adjust to secondary minutes, much like his time under Quinn, who rolled four lines at all times.

    There is no way that he would only play 41 games, that is ridiculous. Maybe he could sit the odd night on a back-to-back, when one of the opponents is a weaker team. But even that should be done sparingly.

    As for the money he should earn, it will likely depend on the team he chooses and the cap space they have available.

    If the team is more or less set, and there is a fit he may maximize what he can get. Otherwise, it is possible that he continues to wait and see which team builds the strongest core and comes under market value in an attempt to win.

    Johnnie

  • Johnnie

    RL is an idiot.

    Changing on the back check is completely normal. In fact, any coach would strongly encourage his players to get off the ice if they are tired – especially if the play is moving into your own zone. As for who replaces him, that is a coaching decision, not something the player concerns himself with while on the ice.

    As for Sundin’s contribution and the amount of games played. When he was in TO, with Quinn, he only average 17-19 minutes (other comparable players got 18-21 minutes). Other coaches in TO played him more and his increased production reflected the increased ice-time. Since he is getting older, he may need to adjust to secondary minutes, much like his time under Quinn, who rolled four lines at all times.

    There is no way that he would only play 41 games, that is ridiculous. Maybe he could sit the odd night on a back-to-back, when one of the opponents is a weaker team. But even that should be done sparingly.

    As for the money he should earn, it will likely depend on the team he chooses and the cap space they have available.

    If the team is more or less set, and there is a fit he may maximize what he can get. Otherwise, it is possible that he continues to wait and see which team builds the strongest core and comes under market value in an attempt to win.

    Johnnie

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com J.J. Guerrero

    Richard and I have had this discussion before, and we actually disagree on this. (Beauty of a discussion between fans, eh?)

    IMHO, Sundin is worth around $4 million. I think he proved last season that he’s still got something left in the tank. Not as much as he did back in TO, but still enough that I’d prefer him as the Canucks’ second-line center than Kesler, Demitra, Hodgson and Wellwood. Sundin’s size and hands were big reasons defenses weren’t able to focus on the Sedins – that’s something I don’t think Kesler, etc. would command at this point.

    If he signs an incentive-laden contract with a small base salary – he can do that because he’s over 35 – then even better. But generally, $4 million would probably be the going rate for what he contributes.

    Continue CIVIL discussion please.

  • http://canuckshockeyblog.com J.J. Guerrero

    Richard and I have had this discussion before, and we actually disagree on this. (Beauty of a discussion between fans, eh?)

    IMHO, Sundin is worth around $4 million. I think he proved last season that he’s still got something left in the tank. Not as much as he did back in TO, but still enough that I’d prefer him as the Canucks’ second-line center than Kesler, Demitra, Hodgson and Wellwood. Sundin’s size and hands were big reasons defenses weren’t able to focus on the Sedins – that’s something I don’t think Kesler, etc. would command at this point.

    If he signs an incentive-laden contract with a small base salary – he can do that because he’s over 35 – then even better. But generally, $4 million would probably be the going rate for what he contributes.

    Continue CIVIL discussion please.

  • ya

    richard loat is an idiot y wuld u want sundin only to play how linden did in his last year then we would have an out of shape sundin tryin to keep up again richard u should give ur head a shake oh and dont quit ur day job u goof

  • ya

    richard loat is an idiot y wuld u want sundin only to play how linden did in his last year then we would have an out of shape sundin tryin to keep up again richard u should give ur head a shake oh and dont quit ur day job u goof

  • B. Sales

    Haha, I’d like to see you guys play a professional sport at age 38 and see if you can keep up with guys like Toews. Playing a maximum of 60 games is enough to get you through to the playoffs when he’ll count the most. And who know, after a full training camp he might surprise us all. (if he re-signs with us) Can you guys even speak without insulting someone?!?!

  • B. Sales

    Haha, I’d like to see you guys play a professional sport at age 38 and see if you can keep up with guys like Toews. Playing a maximum of 60 games is enough to get you through to the playoffs when he’ll count the most. And who know, after a full training camp he might surprise us all. (if he re-signs with us) Can you guys even speak without insulting someone?!?!

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