Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Open Ice Hits Olympcs: Fencing

Today's post is going to address the Sundins and Sakics of the world; those players who are fence-sitting with regards to the future of their careers.

These are gentlemen who've paid their dues. In the case of aging elite players such as Mats Sundin or Joe Sakic, they've more than earned the time to consider their future. Of course, they've also earned (to a certain extent) the intense interest in the outcome of their meditations.

I can't help but contrast the difference between the coverage Sundin has gotten with the somewhat scanty attention Sakic has received. To be sure, Sundin is the captain of a team in the centre of hockey's universe (so they'd like to believe), and had made it clear that he would consider another team. He's articulate, and much like our own captain, has often carried his team on his shoulders when no one else was wiilling to do it. Too, this is a man who is weighing how to best have a shot at the Cup he hasn't yet won against his desires to (I suppose) stay right where he is, and dunno, eat sushi.

Sakic, on the other hand, has very little left to prove. He has won the Cup multiple times, has enjoyed success in international play in whatever tournament he's chosen to participate in, has seen his franchise go from struggling in Quebec into the Western powerhouse of the late 90s. Most importantly, in a role and city befitting his quiet, nonflashy nature, he's risen to the pinnacle of hockey success quietly, without the dazzle of playing in a Canadian or in the big lights of the Eastern Seaboard.

Perhaps that's what's the most telling about the Sundin drama. Unlike other fence-sitters, like Sakic, Selanne or Niedermayer, there is definitely the sense of unfinished business.

That said... I think I'd rather be watching fencing now than worrying about where he's going.

1 comment:

  1. Sundin's getting the attention because he plays in Canada (and in the biggest market, no less), but it's Sakic who will be missed when he's gone, and whose REALLY earned this waiting period.

    Sundin's been a good player for a long time, but he's no legend.