first of all mats sundin will not be leaving toronto. this is incredibly unlikely but after seeing the oilers get rid of their heart and soul last year i suppose anything is possible. if he were to leave toronto at the deadline the leafs would demand something ridiculous in return. however, mats wouldnt leave to play for just any team and i think the wings would be one of the only ones he would even consider so maybe then we could get him for less.
Oh yes, the theory that because Mats Sundin has a no-trade clause, he'll only waive to go to like 3 different teams, therby lowering his trade value.
Wrong. Mats isn't the kind of guy to put a gun to management's head with demands like a list of teams that he'll go to. I know what Mats will do/say. He'll allow the Leafs to go out and negotiate his trade and then he'll pick which one he wants.
The Leafs aren't going to go soft on this trade, if it happens. Mats Sundin is the heart and soul of his team, he's the highest scoring Maple Leaf in franchise history and he's been the captain for over 10 years. He's also still one of the best players in the world. He has immense trade value and the Leafs will look to get every last bit of value out of him that they can.
Mats is an extremely loyal guy. He would probably go to whichever team he felt was giving the Leafs the best deal for his services. That's just the kind of guy he is. He also has a lot of pride and would want to be traded for his true value.
This isn't like adding a broken down old has-been at the deadline who's on his last legs, or a guy who is coming off a serious injury. This is a guy, that despite being 37, can still get the job done with the best of them. He's not a complementary part, or a 2nd liner, he's a #1 center, a top-scoring forward.
You aren't going to get a sweetheart deal for him. No Bertuzzi-like conditions (except perhaps a condtional pick based on if he re-signs, which is highly unlikely), no sluffing off underperforming prospects with some potential left in them.
It's going to cost top-level prospects and top picks. There's no way around it. I'll keep saying this: If Detroit won't ante up, somebody else will.