Completely agree...It's fun to debate the reasons for why he will go wherever he will but to just bash each other with no real purpose is childish...We all know and respect the heritage of Montreal Canadiens hockey but as a fanbase we(Canucks fans) shouldn't have to deal with the constant insults to the team that we love and support. I would be willing to bet that a large majority of Canucks fans would name Montreal as their 2nd favourite team in the NHL.
I blame Mats Sundin for ruining the once-prosperous relationship between Montreal and Vancouver fans. The homewrecker!
First off, I'd like to apologize for the attitudes and arguments used by the OP and others (con310) on behalf of every rational and level-headed Canuck fan out there. We've got bad apples - unfortunately, because of the whole Sundin thing, it seems we have a lot more than usual.
And if it helps any, I'm a Wild fan living in Vancouver so I may offer a bit of a different viewpoint than most Canuck homers.
My take on the whole Sundin situation is this:
I don't think signing Mats Sundin will make Vancouver an automatic cup contender, nor do I think any other sane Canuck fan would say that.
I think what we are trying to communicate though is that if the Canucks do sign Sundin, they could arguably be better than the team that won the NW division title and got to the second round of the playoffs two years ago.
Let's take a closer look at the Canucks scoring last season in terms of its underachievers.
Of those, only one player's lack of production can realistically be attributed to declining production, and that's Naslund. Morrison scored at least 50 points for Vancouver in his previous four seasons, Ohlund put up 30 points in each of his last three years with the club, Bieksa was generally expected to produce much more than 12 points before the start of last season, and Krajicek's 11 points were his lowest totals since debuting with the Panthers back in 03-04.
For comparison's sake, let's assume that the latter four players played a full season and scored 80% of their numbers in 06/07. What do we get?
Morrison: 16 goals, 25 assists, 41 points (7 more goals) Ohlund: 9 goals, 16 assists, 25 points (No increase - however, Ohlund put up almost exactly the same numbers in 53 games as opposed to 77 in 06/07, so it's likely he'd have scored a bit more.) Bieksa: 10 goals, 24 assists, 34 points (8 more goals) Krajicek: 2 goals, 10 assists, 12 points (like Ohlund, Krajicek put up these totals in 39games as opposed to 78 - twice as fast.)
Total: 37 goals
Okay then, assuming we sign Sundin and the above players put up those totals (which, considering it's 80% of their production from last season, could arguably be on the conservative side), what do we have this season? I'm not adjusting Sundin's numbers because he's consistently scored around the same amount with a below-average Leafs squad.
Sundin: 32 goals, 46 assists, 78 points (16 goals more than Morrison's adjusted rate)
Add that to the 8 more from Bieksa, and the other 11 from Ohlund and Krajicek and you get 51 goals - a 14 goal difference.
Why does this matter?
The Canucks scored a total of 207 goals last season. Add 14, they're at 221.
The only teams that missed the playoffs with 221 or more goals were Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Phoenix. Seems like a hefty list.
However, the big difference between those teams and the Canucks is that they let in an average of 246 goals last season as opposed to Vancouver's 206 - a whopping 40 goal difference. If the Canucks can let 40 less goals in on average while having their full top 6 defensemen playing together for only about a month, I'd say they're going to be in much better shape next season if their defense holds up.
So what does all of this mean?
No rational Canucks fan is claiming that adding Sundin automatically makes Vancouver a cup contender. However, their underachievement last season can be explained by injuries to guys like Morrison, who was a key part of an already frail offense. Couple that with the sheer amount of man games lost by Vancouver's top 6 (over 100 off the top of my head) , and it's commendable at the least that they hung in the playoff hunt for as long as they did.
With the players we've brought in this year (Demitra, Bernier) as well as the emergence of young guys like Kesler, Raymond, and Edler, we've already essentially replaced the production of Morrison and Naslund. Add Sundin to that mix with his 30 goals, and we've significantly improved offensively. If our already strong defensive core can hold up better than they did last season, and Luongo plays like he should, this is arguably a much better team than the one that went to the conference semifinals on Luongo's back two years ago.
Bottom line, Sundin's not going to make us a top 5 team. However, I think too many posters are writing the Canucks off as bottom-feeders and as a shoo-in for the lottery. If Sundin signs, he's bringing his 30 goals and 70+ points to a team that would've made the playoffs if not for the decimation of its top six defensemen. Combine that with a franchise goaltender in Luongo, and I think we could not only see the Canucks in the playoffs - we could see them make an impact in the post-season.
Does any of you leaf hating fans want to admit that last year you were mocking the Leafs for re-signing an old and broken down Sundin to a $5.5 mil contract?
Was anyone really doing that?
The two biggest steals of the Leafs organization, in my eyes, has always been Kaberle and Sundin. Throughout their entire Leaf careers. I wish I had Markov at Kaberle's money. I wish I had a player like Sundin at $5.5M (Hell, if we get Sundin, I still wish we got him for the Leaf discount).
Face it.. Sundin needs a fresh environment. Why would he sign with the leafs?!? The leafs were trying to trade him during the deadline.....
Honestly and MONTREAL?!?!? Hahaha, Why would he ever go to a division rival team...When Sundin told Gainey to not come to Sweden, it is obvious that Montreal was not one of his options.
Vancouver on the other hand has alot to offer. First the $$$$$$$. A different division...A fresh Start...A good place to live....and most importantly his countrymen. Ohlund and the sedins have the same agent... so why not?
Au contraire. Sundin is very conventional. He sticks to what he knows best. Besides, he's afraid of orcas.