That annoying trade deadline thing is over. Now Toronto star Mats Sundin is putting the focus of fantasy junkies where it should be – on his production.
(Originally posted at The Hockey News on March 7)
The Leafs captain is on pace for 87 points, which would be his second-highest production in the blue and white uniform and third highest in his career. Actually, considering his career-high 104 points came with the Quebec Nordiques – also blue and white uniforms – you could accurately say it would be his third-highest total in the blue and white.
That’s shocking, considering he turned 37 last month. After all, this is hockey, not baseball. Athletes in this sport actually decline as they approach their late 30s. And if you think it’s the result of a hot start and he’s only slowing down – think again. Sundin has 11 points in five games since the trade deadline and has not been held off the scoresheet in the seven games since announcing he would not waive his no-trade clause.
Keeper-league owners wonder what the future holds for the pending unrestricted free agent and what the best course of action might be.
It’s hard to imagine Sundin retiring after his third-best season, but it’s even more difficult to see the Leafs giving him a well-deserved raise. My fantasy strategy would have been to deal him to a contender at the deadline and leave the hoping and wondering to someone else, but if you happen to have him on your squad, there aren’t a lot of options now.
You can trade him in the off-season and get very little for him, perhaps not even a good draft pick. Or you can keep him and risk losing him for nothing if he retires, versus coming back and giving you another 80 points next year.
Since 80-point players don’t