Friday, December 19, 2008

This Is Not Sour Grapes ...

... But it will sound like it. Mats Sundin's statement that "the Vancouver opportunity was simply the best overall fit" is a complete and utter lie. If I was a Vancouver fan, I would be upset. Sundin is a mercenary trying to ride into town as a hero.

He is not.

While I certainly wouldn't have minded seeing the big Swede in a Ranger sweater, I have maintained throughout this saga that the Blueshirts' biggest priority needed to be their defense. You can't win a championship with a blueline that is as underachieving and overpriced as the Rangers'.

Perhaps Sundin agrees with that. But nonetheless, his motivation towards picking the Canucks was about kroner, not Cups.

Most of the write-ups are saying that the deal he made with Vancouver is in the $5 million range for the rest of the season. For the Rangers to accommodate that, then Scott Gomez would indeed have been the best candidate to go (too bad that didn't work out, as I dislike the Mexican't). But Vancouver was one of the few teams that could fit in a contract that size and they weren't willing to commit to Gomez for that much money for six seasons, especially with the Sedin twins both up for free agency after this year, as are about a dozen other 'Nucks ... Plus what better way to follow up Trevor Linden's retirement than to bring in Sundin? His presence - or even the fact that the team was willing to go get him - may entice the Sedins to re-sign (even if Sundin is only around this season).

And to continue the Linden comparison, Vancouver is bringing in another old warrior who is well respected and will retire without winning a Stanley Cup. Sundin would have had a better chance in the weaker East, he would have had a lighter travel schedule, been a continent closer to Sweden and had a goaltender behind him that has already earned him Olympic gold.

This really is a good thing ... for the Rangers. Sundin and the Canucks will be under more pressure than ever to get results, especially with the Toronto media following their former captain. Meanwhile, the Rangers can look around the locker room and know that these are the guys that they are going to war with. It should strengthen team chemistry, give them something to prove (that they don't need Sundin to win) and it shouldn't lead to complacency - or at least any more than there already is.

Remember, the trade deadline is just over two months away ...


Duniyadnd said...

Why the hate for Scott Gomez? I'm not a big fan of how Chris Drury is doing, albeit he's having a decent run so far, but he's not very consistent this season to make me comfortable with the way he's playing.

Scotty Hockey said...

Why do I hate Gomez, let me count the ways ...
1 - He smirks during interviews after losses.
2 - He stops moving his feet as he crosses the blue line.
3 - He isn't big on shooting, even when he has the perfect opportunity.
4 - He is virtually useless on the power play since everything he does is predictable.
5 - He is grossly unprofessional in many of the aforementioned interviews, harassing the hosts about their choice in fashion.
6 - He is signed to a ridiculous contract that he didn't earn.
7 - He is signed to a ridiculous contract that no other team in their right mind will take.
8 - He is a former Devil.

And I am sure there is more but I have to get back to work ...