Canuck Nation is getting all riled up again with talk the Canucks may be one of the final two teams in the Mats Sundin sweepstakes, along with the New York Rangers (Yes, them again). Most insiders say that given his choice, Sundin would likely choose the Rangers, but for that to occur the Rangers need to make room under the cap.
So is Sundin serious about the Canucks, or is it because the club never wavered in their offer since July 1st, that Sundin is just keeping them around as the fallback team? If the Rangers can make it work he’ll go there, and if he can’t he has the Canucks to sign with.
Of course there is the possibility the Canucks could be the team that picks up what the Rangers have to shed to add Sundin, but with names being thrown about like defensemen Wade Redden, Michal Rozsival and forwards Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, one would have to think only Gomez might peak the Canucks interest.
If and when it becomes apparent to general manager Mike Gillis that Sundin won’t be coming here, he has left himself with a hell of a wild card to hold for the second half of the season. Gillis will be the best positioned of pretty much any of his counterparts come trading time, simply because he has salary cap room to burn. There will likely be teams that find themselves out of the playoffs, who will be looking to blow things up and rebuild. This should mean that some players that could help the Canucks will be available.
Gillis should really be commended for the position he has the Canucks in here. Mats Sundin would make them a much better hockey team, there is no doubt. But he’s made sure that if he doesn’t choose the Canucks it won’t be the end of the world. His team is leading it’s division, with the toughest part of it’s schedule behind them. He has the means to be involved in any trade activity that may pop up.
Of course he still has to make those deals, and he’ll be judged on that, but you have to like the position he has himself in, whether he gets Sundin or not.