I was watching Off the Record today, listening to Michael Landsberg question Mats Sundin’s decision to stay in Toronto as opposed to waiving his no-trade clause and going somewhere else.
When I hear people actually criticizing Sundin for wanting to stay in Toronto I get a little crazy inside. This guy is passing up an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup so he can stay and finish his career, uninterrupted, in his favourite city.
Back in 2004 when Vince Carter requested to be traded out of Toronto the media jumped on him for being disloyal; the very same media that’s essentially saying Sundin is being too loyal.
And it’s not just Sundin either. Darcy Tucker and Tomas Kaberle also have no-trade clauses and they too have said they want to stay in Toronto and have subsequently been called out by the media for being “selfish”.
These players signed a contract that gave him the power to control their own destiny to some degree. Essentially, guys like Lansberg are criticizing them for exercising that control. I don’t understand the point of having the clause if we’re not going to allow them to exercise them free from attack.
Sundin has openly said that he doesn’t agree with the idea of “rental players” and subsequently there have been talks of the next collective bargaining agreement restricting the practice. What Sundin is doing this year might have consequences many years down the road. If the league can get rid of the rental player maybe there will be more Steve Yzermans to look forward to.