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Loose Change: Hey Mats, it's retirement calling...

Mats Sundin still hasn't decided whether he will return to the NHL this season or not. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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Mats Sundin still hasn't decided whether he will return to the NHL this season or not. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Hi, you’ve reached Mats’ house. I’m not here right now, but if you leave your name and number, I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I can. Wait for the beep.

(Beep)

Hi Mats, this is Retirement calling. It’s Tuesday, July 29. My secretary said you phoned earlier wanting to discuss things. I’m in most of this week, but I’m away in Green Bay over the weekend. Some dude has “a crisis of conscience” or something stupid like that. Call me when you get a chance. Thanks. (click)

(Beep)

Hi Mats. Retirement again. Haven’t heard from you. I’ve heard rumblings you’re thinking of hanging up the blades. Look, you have to do what’s best for you and make sure you’re content with your decision. Personally I think you have a lot left, but I can imagine playing in that vortex like you have for so many years can take a lot out of a guy. Anyway, I’m in all weekend if you want to talk. Talk soon. (click)

(Beep)

Hey Mats, Retirement again. I hope I’ve got the right number. Wouldn’t be the first time I dialled someone who wasn’t expecting my call. Man, Mario was pissed. Anyway, heard you called, yadda yadda, ring me up and we can discuss your future plans. Thanks. (click)

(Beep)

Hey Mats. You did call me, right? First you’re all over this thing, then I phone to discuss it and you’re nowhere to be found. Give me a call. Thanks. (click)

(Beep)

Hello Mats. I hate to get testy here, but I do have other clients who need to talk to me as well, you know? Most of them get this sorted out earlier and enjoy the summer heading out to pasture. I know it’s difficult, but dude, you pretty much own half of Sweden and a good part of Toronto. Call me. (click)

(Beep)

OK, this is getting pretty frustrating now. I drove by your house the other day and of course you’re not home, although the music was blaring and there were all of these things floating in the pool. Look Mats, I’ve been re-arranging my schedule to try and meet with you and I just don’t think you’re taking this thing seriously. Look, go see the wise man on the mountain or whatever it is you Swedes do to make life-changing decisions, but PLEASE CALL ME BACK. Thank you. (click)

(Beep)

Professional athletes really get to me. You toy with me like a kitten and even when you do make a decision, you never stick with it. That dude in Green Bay evidently didn’t need my services after all! I hope you realize the more you guys play with this concept, the more I look like an idiot and lose credibility. I have a reputation to uphold, you know? Call me. I mean it. (click)

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(Beep)

I can’t do this anymore. I phone. I visit. I leave messages. I play nice, yet you leave me hanging here. I’m just a regular guy trying to make a living and you can’t even pay me the simple respect of returning a damned phone call. Oh no, those rules don’t apply to me. I’m Mats freaking Sundin and the whole world has to stop for me to decide whether I want to make $10 million for one or two more years. Oh the choices are SO tough. Maybe I should talk to Teemu, or maybe Michael Jordan. He retired four, no wait, five times?

But you know what Mats? I’m the guy left holding the bag. I’m the one with the tarnished image. I used to have stature and I was this great entity. People respected me and I had clout in this town. Now I’m just some two-bit hack. I’m like a Limited Warranty. I’m the fine print. I used to be somebody. Well, you know what? Don’t bother phoning me anymore. Talk to Asterisk if you want. He’s more what you’re looking for. Take this whole should I/shouldn’t I garbage and shove it up your (message timed out)...

(Beep)

Hi Mats. This is Keep Playing phoning. I heard you’ve been trying to reach me?

The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?

Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every other Thursday in the summer only on thehockeynews.com. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.

Want to talk to Charlie about love, life, or Loose Change? Email him at charlieteljeur@hotmail.com

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