Archive for July, 2008

RE: Mats Sundin Update

Apparently there’s been a recent uproar about my little Sundin update posted below, and I guess that’s understandable considering I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m by no means an experienced journalist. I’m working my way up the ranks, and I’m not trying to hide it. I’m not claiming that I’m a Bob McKenzie or Darren Dregger caliber insider, or an Eklund type “trade breaker” with millions of sources in the hockey world, but I’m not simply fabricating any information either.

I’ve received a few emails demanding more information on the person I talked to about Sundin, and I’ll gladly share that (and more), with the hopes of eradicating my label as a “fraud,” how someone so kindly put it.

I inaccurately assumed that this guy didn’t want me to reveal his name, but after I heard about the uproar on my piece, I emailed him again and learned that I was wrong.

Mats Wennerholm is the person I talked to. He’s an experienced and respected reporter for the “Sportbladet” newspaper in Sweden. As previously stated, he’s been dealing with Sundin since Mats played Junior in Sweden, and they’ve developed a pretty good relationship ever since. And he’s the one that interviewed Sundin for “Sportsbladet” after the Sundin to Vancouver rumors emerged.

Once again, as previously stated, don’t take what he said for gospel; he just informed me his personal thoughts on the situation after having talked to Sundin on different occasions during the past several weeks.

If you still don’t believe me, maybe you should email him and ask him yourself. Because as I recently discovered, his email address isn’t very hard to get a hold of.

Mats Sundin Update

I realize many of you probably feel as though these continuous Sundin updates and alleged developments are now redundant, but quite frankly, I’ve had a blast working on this story over the past weeks. Here is my most prominent article on the Sundin saga, which was published last week over at Inside Hockey.

This time, however, I have an update of my own. This time, I’m not just relaying the sentiments of a Swedish journalist and his Russian source.

I recently exchanged some emails with someone who is very close to Mats Sundin, someone who talked to the Swedish superstar only days ago. Believe me when I tell you this guy is legit. I can confirm that he’s known Sundin since Mats played as a junior in Sweden. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal my source, but I can share that he’s based in Sweden, yet he’s traveled to Toronto to meet Sundin once every season over the past twelve years.

Here’s what I gathered from him:

  • Sundin has not confirmed that he won’t play in the 2010 Olympics, but he admitted that it’s doubtful. After the 2006 Olympics, Sundin also hinted the very same thing when he said that an Olympic gold medal was the perfect end to his career with the National team.

  • Sundin will play in the NHL next season.
  • As previously and publicly stated, Sundin is “flattered” by the offer made by the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks remain “well in the picture.”
  • If Sundin decides to leave the Maple Leafs, Sundin will likely join a Western Conference team.

And that’s about all I could squeeze out of him. Once again, I know this is nothing earth shattering for those of you who have been following the saga closely. But I found that the last point basically narrows down Sundin’s possible destinations to Toronto and Vancouver.

As for a contingency plan if Sundin decides to turn away from Vancouver’s monstrous offer and sign elsewhere, another source is telling me that Michael Nylander – another former client of Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis – is “also a possibility.”

Don’t take this for gospel; take it for what it’s worth.

Lightning To Make "Big Announcement"

I’ve learned that Tuesday at the Bear Mountain Arena/Resort in Victoria, the Tampa Bay Lightning will be holding a press conference to make a “big announcement,” according to a team representative.

Now since this announcement will be taking place at the Lightning prospects camp, I’m assuming it won’t be to announce a trade or anything of that sort. My guess would be that it is will be to announce that Steven Stamkos has signed his first professional contract, but that’s just a completely baseless assumption.

On a related note, how cool is it that Stamkos and co. will be in Victoria next week? In case you’re wondering, one of the new Lightning owners Len Barrie is also the majority shareholder of the Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, so that’s where the connection lies.

I’ll be in Victoria on Tuesday with my friends over at The Press Box for the press conference and the day’s festivities. Hopefully we’ll get in there for a couple good sounds bites; stay tuned for an update on that!

The Canucks’ Ball Hockey Connection

So, as I was talking to some people in the world ball hockey circle with the hope of getting some information for my piece on Alexandre Burrows (which can be seen here), someone gave me a couple interesting facts about the Canucks’ connection to ball hockey. And I thought some of you might be interested to hear about them as well.

The Vancouver Canucks have two players on their current roster who have won World Ball Hockey Championships. Of course, Alexandre Burrows who has two with Team Canada (2003 and 2005), and now Pavol Demitra who also won a championship with Team Slovakia in 1999. In front of his home crowd in Zvolen, Slovakia, Demitra led his squad to a shootout victory over Canada.

According to the person I talked to, this was the first ever championship for Slovakia in any sport and he suggested that this was one of Demitra’s most memorable moments. At the time, Demitra expressed his admiration and great respect towards the Canadian National squad. Demitra also played in the 1996 World Championships in Bratislava, but fell short to the Canadians in the semi-finals.

In addition, I was told that Roberto Luongo and his brothers play ball hockey in Montreal.

I know this is nothing earth shattering, but it’s pretty interesting nonetheless.