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January 12, 2011

What Part Of NO TRADE They Not Understand? Sundin, And Other Leafs` Stand Their Ground!

What is the best way to show someone that they are totally wrong and that they better reevaluate the way that they view you? If you are a hockey player, a Toronto Maple Leaf in particular and your name is Mats Sundin, Pavel Kubina or Darcy Tucker, you come out and you score against a team that has on occasion, for lack of a better term, annihilated you. Not only are the Leafs currently beating the Ottawa Senators, but the guys that refused to waive their no trade clauses have scored. I think that action is more important than all of the interviews and proclamations that Sundin, Kubina and Tucker want to stay in Toronto. Seeing those guys step up to plate after they refused to leave Toronto is rather inspiring. Of course I would have liked to see this effort earlier in the season but hey, we all take things for granted. Sometimes it takes the threat of losing what we have for us to make an honest effort.

First of all, it burns me up that NHL teams have asked players with no trade clauses to waive them. The whole point of players having no trade clauses in their contracts is because they don’t want to be moved. If a player has one, then he should be off of the trading table. Hockey players are people in addition to being players and they should have some say as to where they play, if they desire that choice. While Mats Sundin was not the only player to be asked to waive his no trade clause he was the one that got the most publicity. The questions have been pouring in from the media for weeks and Sundin has stayed firm on his position. He wants to play in Toronto. I totally respect Sundin’s choice and am glad to see that he is willing to stick to his initial desision.
While some may think that this is a selfish move, I don’t see it that way. I think that asking a player to waive their no trade clause is putting them in very unfair position. So the choice is, move to another team even though you have clearly stated that you wanted to stay put, or come off as a player that is not willing to make a sacrifice for the betterment of the team. Well, like I’ve stated before Sundin is not the problem and by staying he is making a bold statement that he wants to be part of the solution. And that he is willing to go down fighting.

Of course the flip side of the argument is hockey teams are business ventures and when business is not going well, changes must be made. However, in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs it is clear that the mess was created by the people in charge of the team. Fans had been calling for a new general manager for several years before John Ferguson Jr. was fired. I know that franchises can not make decisions based on what fans want but if you have been watching the Leafs over the past couple of years, you know that changes needed to be made long ago. Besides, asking a couple of players that do not want to be traded to be traded is not the answer. But maybe the idea of being traded is enough to band the Leafs together.

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