Diary of a Rumour Monger
There is a good chance that Mats Sundin will make an announcement on his future within the next week or so so lets check out some earlier chatter from the internets most notorious (and hugely inaccurate) rumour monger Eklund.
May 25: I am told very clearly that Mats looks like he wants to play again. And he should. He looked very good last year and the heart he showed down the stretch was phenomenal. The stuff of movies. Although several sources are saying Mats wants to stay in Canada, he may opt for the Border cities of Buffalo and Detroit. If not toronto I am told that Mats first choices are local. Montreal, Ottawa, and Buffalo….if Mats is to move, Vancouver, Calgary, Detroit are possibilities.
June 4: “Mats Sundin WILL return to the NHL and not to the Maple Leafs, However he wants to stay in Canada and in the East. The Canadiens are preparing a major offer, although Dan Alfredsson is making a big pitch as well. Look for Sundin to see who is taking over in Ottawa as coach before making his decision. I do expect one more minor pitch from Toronto, but nothing to come of it.”
June 20: Sundin… Source tells me that the negotiations between Sundin and Montreal are going very well. Could be announced tonight or in the morning. Don’t expect a big return. Sundin only has a very few teams he is willing to go to. Montreal is the number 1 and number 2 choice. I will stay on this throughout the night..Of course..
June 28: Talking to a Swedish friend of Mats he is starting to get excited about the possibility of playing in Montreal. His talks with Gainey have left him ‘Blown away’ by the man’s professionalism and integrity. And Mats has even said he thinks Montreal would be a wonderful city to play in. Mats friend really believes that it is Montreal or retirement. And that the second Mats decides to make a go of it a 2-year deal will get done.
June 28 #2: A fellow Swedish Hockey Star/Legend just told me that he firmly believes that Mats will indeed announce his decision about Montreal and he believes that he will indeed be signing with the Canadiens. I also just talked to another source tonight who feels that Mats will be giving an answer tomorrow to Montreal… “Mats is still deciding if he wants to play another year or two” I was told.
July 2: I have heard from three sources that Mats may wait and visit Vancouver this week. If he does that he may narrow his choices since the Rangers and Canadiens may no risk getting shutout of signing other players and the money may not be there for Mats. UPDATE**A SOURCE JUST INFORMED ME THAT MATS WILL RETURN BUT NO DECISION AS TO WHERE…Of course, this is just source and as we have learned with Mats no one really knows what Mats is thinking except Mats…and things can change.
July 8: There are some reports tha Mats is in Vancouver. I believe this to be the case based on my best guess, but I have yet to confirm this. However, a source in Sweden who has been pretty good so far when it comes to Sundin and Foppa news tells me that Mats will NOT wait long to decide and that he does feel a sense of duty to the Canadiens, Canucks, and Leafs. Another source told me that he had heard that Mats is leaning heavily towards a decision this weekend and that from all he has heard Mats may ask for a one year deal in Montreal.
July 14: Meanwhile, the Sundin situation is getting more and more complex with sources telling me that Montreal stills has the inner track but ANOTHER team that we have yet to talk about may indeed be getting into the game today or tomorrow.
July 15: “Many people now feel that Sundin is waiting on the NY Rangers. That is the holdup” one source told me. Obviously the Rangers would have to move mountains to bring in Mats cap-wise…Just remember: The only team that Mats approached himself to play for was the NY Rangers.
July 21: “It’s not true at all that I’m definitely going to Vancouver. I haven’t yet decided if I’m going to continue to play hockey,” Sundin says to Sportbladet.
July 28: On Sundin…Another source at this hour has informed me that he is hearing Montreal is NOT just competing against Vancouver, but also “a team that is NOT in the news currently regarding Mats.”
August 6: Meanwhile sources on Montreal are still telling me that the team is acting very much like Mats will be a Canadien…the source told me that a promotional video to celebrate the centennial year is “on hold until further notice.”
August 7: The source, who has MANY years experience in the NHL, told me this…”I just heard that Toronto wants Sundin back and Sundin wants back in Toronto. Toronto will sign him today as long as Mats is willing to NOT include a NO TRADE CLAUSE in the contract.. That is the hold up currently and ONLY that.”
August 11: An agent dealing with some of the teams involved but not linked directly tells me that he believes the teams involved have been told something as to a timeline adding “All is not as quiet as it appears, and a major announcement WILL take place in the next 7-10 days that will define Sundin’s future.” He also added, “However I dont think the teams have the slightest idea what team he will pick.”
August 11: “Sundin is playing this year in the NHL, however we have yet to see the scope of the bidding at this point. Since Sundin’s statement in early July, many more teams are in the game. He is a high powered addition and certain teams do believe he is the missing piece.”
August 14: Although the majority of my sources are still leaning in the direction of Sundin not retiring and returning to play for the Canadiens, one source that I do trust told me today that he truly believes Sundin will return to the Leafs or retire. He could no tell me who he talked to last evening but did assure me it was a “strongly connected person in these dealings.”
August 16: According to multiple sources over the past two weeks I have heard that there is a very real chance that Mats will play for the Rangers for very little money. Finally today a source confirmed that the number may be as little as 2 million.
August 18: However, a source of mine in Sweden who has been very spot on, told me that he was told last night that it “has been decided and it was Montreal.” The source said that the Canadiens have “led pole to pole here.” Still another said that in the next few days the Canucks are getting a “day in court” moment when they will be able to make their case for one last time. The source also added, “The Canucks players are definitely making some in-roads in the convincing department.” The six teams…pretty clear now…Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, NY Rangers, Philly, and….I believe the Avalanche.
August 22: “We are hearing that the Rangers will sign Mats and deal Gomez.” This source is a source I very much trust. Of course Mats still has to come to play. Following this lead was fascinating tonight because it opened up some serious other sources who had this information “off the record” until I presented them with this. One of my sources then proceeded to tell me that the Vancouver Canucks have “HUGE Interest in Scotty Gomez…”
August 26: Announcement from Sweden Imminent? Hearing Montreal… which means that the Rangers probably are having a hard time working the details with Gomez..we will see.
August 26: So despite staying up half the night with hopes, we are still where we are. However we are definitely closer and I also am hearing the Canadiens may once again be the front runner for Mats… Two sources have told me the Rangers may be having issues getting the return they want for Gomez and that could be shifting the focus back to Montreal…although don’t count out the Canucks at all.
August 28: Meanwhile…in the world of Mats, I am hearing from several sources that he may announce that he is NOT coming back this season…The rumour mill is buzzing since yesterday about this and Darren Dreger on ESPN alluded to the same in his blog today stating: “However, the advice being given to Sundin is to avoid using the term “retire,” if necessary take a break, but leave the option of return wide open.”
August 30: Well today’s money is on the Canadiens, (and for quite a few reasons,) some of which are off the record, but the one dominating factor appears to be the Rangers inability to get what they want for what they have to move to get it done.
September 2: Mats says “I’m still not at the point where I am ready to make a decision….wrestling with my own mind…still debating this decision.”
September 10: Although Mats is still largely under the belief that he is not going to decide until after camp starts I am hearing several murmurs that the Rangers are still trying to convince him otherwise and that the Rangers apparent cap issues are “completely manageable if need be.”
September 11: Speaking of Sundin, there is a possibility that the newest team to enter this fray may be the Washington Capitals. A source told me, “There is definite, and growing interest in DC for Mats… especially if he is a half year guy…”
September 20: “We are hearing that two teams have 48hours and that time may have started at noon today. The two teams are somewhat surprising as well. One is Vancouver, the other is “in the Central Division.” According to the source, although he believes these latest deadlines may have been put into place by the teams, that is “Not a certainty. It is possible that Mats has given these teams so “new and relevant guidelines.”
October 2: Rumours today from Sweden and America are confirming a rumour I heard a few weeks ago that Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg may be planning a joint return to Colorado in early 2009. According to the Swedish source, “All the players at the morning skate yesterday were talking about this including one player who lives very near to and talks to Sundin all of the time.”
October 16: Whispers today that the Rangers are looking further into a Sundin option and that December 1st is another deadline of sorts.
October 31: “I am told with certainty that Mats Sundin news is upon us. It is done. Mats is returning. Rangers, Canucks, and Habs are aware of what it will take. But in honesty, Mats will decide based on the best chance to win a Cup in his head. NOT MONEY.” … “Look out NHL, Mats is coming back. Either the Rangers or Canucks. It will come out of nowhere.”
November 2: “Mats is hungry to win a Cup. Plain and simple. That alone has driven him to getting into phenomenal shape through his workouts. He is telling everyone that two teams are impressing him. Montreal and Toronto, but of course the Cup is not likely going to end up in Toronto.” When I asked for a time frame I was told, “Within 2 weeks Mats will be skating with the team.”
November 12: Sundin: I could be back after Christmas
November 19: “Mats is trying to return the first week in December. He definitely has the itch back and is getting stronger every day. The teams are constantly changing, but as of now The Leafs and Rangers lead the pack followed closely by the Canadiens and Capitals.”
November 23: According to a few sources this weekend, the Canucks offer of $20 million for Sundin is still on the table and apparently over the last week or two given the Canucks play and style Mats has indeed thrusted them forward in the pecking order. One source this morning said to me, “Word around the NHL among some of the elder Swedish NHLers is starting to lean heavily towards Sundin becoming a Canuck.”
December 5: Remember how I have been saying to look out for Colorado in this? Well, more and more people are seeing and writing that today. I am hearing the three team race. NY Rangers, Montreal and Vancouver with Philly, Chicago, and St. Louis in the fringe.