In the short time I’ve known you we’ve had a rocky relationship. I didn’t want you on my team, I didnt think you could do it, you were an ex-Leaf so I had cause to hate you, and in all I wasn’t happy you were stealing so much of my team’s money. It took me a long time to become “okay”, if you can say I really was okay, with the fact that you were a new Canuck, we’d put up with your drama, and you may be contributing something to this team.
I wasn’t impressed with your goal-per-million-dollars-earned strategy, or with your stupid penalties that cost us the game, and had we not won the division because of those measly points I would have shredded you worse than that punk kid Cody Hodgson. I wasn’t impressed with your lack of back checking or with your “laziness” and least of all I wasn’t impressed that you took half the season to make up your mind. You had me almost likening you to a Mike Comrie, at one point – all due respect though, you’re pretty awesome.
But I’ll hand it to you, you came back and although it was hard, once you got those old bones creaking and slowly turned over that engine you made a difference. You helped out that Kesler kid and probably thought him a thing or two he didnt know, you opened up the ice for the team, and you actually started making some plays, putting up points and getting goals that helped us win that division and home ice. You showed us a little something about what the word epic really means when you scored that shootout goal against the Leafs, and you showed us the level of class you’ve inspired and earned just by the way the fans in Toronto treated you.
Everyone told me, “Wait, you’ll see. Come the playoffs Sundin will elevate his play.” As the stretch drive came to an end you were slowly rolling into your own groove, and as much as it pains me to admit I was wrong, everything they said was true. In the playoffs you were our best player. In Chicago we lost the series because of a number of reasons, but not one that could be directly attributable to you. I know I for one am a little upset (for selfish reasons) you couldn’t come around this season if for no other reason than to have been able to mentor Cody Hodgson a bit. He could learn a lot from a center like you.
Lastly, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for choosing to turn down the original offer of 20 million dollars over 2 years. If you’d done that we wouldn’t have a reason to be as excited this year as we have a right to be. There would likely be no talks of a Luongo extension as he’d probably wait to see how we fared this season, and we’d have no Sedin twins (which I’m sure factored into Luongo’s decision to commit to this team). There also wouldn’t have been a bunch of players like Shirokov, or Samuelsson. Your act of pure selflessness (be it you were selfish enough to avoid the lengthy road trips at the beginning of the season – sorta cancels the two out) has allowed us to use that 10 million you would have earned elsewhere.
I’m sorry you didn’t get the fanfare and send off you deserved. I for one wish you’d ended your career with the Leafs. I would have rather seen you sign a one day contract with the Leafs and end your career with the send out you deserve than the second mention it seems you’ve gotten in Vancouver. You deserved a little more for your 20 seasons big fella. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your new wife, she looks pretty hot. Maybe we’ll see you around Vancouver some time?
Love you long time Big Baldy,
PS – Did you hear? We have a Russian now!
PPS – Can you send me a Nordiques jersey? Fire me an email and I’ll send you my address.