Leafs to honour Sundin next season
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04-04-2011, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Originally Posted by
This nonsense of retiring numbers
just increases the chances of players wearing crappy numbers. I mean what's the difference if someone else wears the number. Did Garnet Exelby wearing #7 suddenly cause you to forget the existence of Tim Horton or King Clancy or for that matter, Lanny McDonald (as an unhonoured number 7)?
It's the player that is important. The number is just a way to identify who's who.
the Toronto Maple Leafs started the who business of teams retiring numbers
with Ace Bailey, so if any team has the right to do it their own way, it's them.
I know all about Toronto's stringent qualifications for getting one's number retired. Here's hoping they never have to retire another one under the same circumstances.
I give the Leafs' brass kudos for sticking to their guns and being different, choosing to go with the "honouring" route.
Just feel that Sundin left a mark on the Leafs, and on the city of Toronto. That, IMO, is worthy of a number being taken out of the rotation, never to be worn again.
It's the same reason why there will never be another #9 playing for the Wings or Habs (or Stars, hopefully
). A player's number is just that, a number. I don't think fans would have cared if, had the Leafs been retiring numbers this whole time, Mats played his Leafs years wearing #83. It just means #83 would be the next number to go. I think it adds a certain level of prestige, to have that many fine players wear your colours, and wear them so well that the number on the back is rafter-bound.
That being said, you would obviously need to raise the bar somewhat in terms of who gets raised and who doesn't. Sundin's the only Leaf in recent memory who's even close to achieving such status, IMO. So it's not like the Leafs would run out of numbers any time soon.
If an exception were to be made, if the Leafs were to bend the rule just this once and retire the number of one player who's still alive, Mats would be that player.
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