Check out this quote from Jim Pappin – he who led the Maple Leafs in scoring with seven goals and 15 points in the 1967 Stanley Cup playoffs (before colour TV and all that):
"I think Mats can obviously see that Toronto is re-building and probably will not have a very good team for the next three or four years. If none of the guys like Bryan McCabe or Darcy Tucker come back, the Leafs are going to be pretty bad. I've watched the Marlies and the farm system, and I don't see anybody there that can make them better. A player or two might make the team, but won't improve the situation. I think Sundin can see that. In fact, everybody can. The Leafs are trying to become a more competitive club by getting younger. As far as loyalty, I remember when Dave Keon was used up, the Leafs let him go, and he's probably the greatest centre to ever play for the team. But, Sundin is in a different situation. Montreal is a contender, and the Canadiens picked up Alex Tanguay, another top player, at the draft. They have as good a chance as anybody to win the Stanley Cup next season. If I was Sundin, I think that's where I would want to go. And, to be honest, I don't really think the Leafs want him that badly anymore. They might offer him a lot of money, but he can get the same amount, or more, and play on a better team."
Don't hold anything back, Jim.
My favourite part is: "I've watched the Marlies and the farm system, and I don't see anybody there that can make them better."
Even Guy sometimes minces his words sometimes.
One thing's for certain. Lose Sundin and they'll have very large skates to replace. They'll never go quietly through free agency though, right?