Congrats to the big Sundin Derby winner, besides the Canucks

It took several days for us to remember to care about scour the over 500 comments on our "Predict when and how Mats Sundin returns" reader contest. The rules stated that the winner would be the one with the correct team and closest to the timestamp on TSN's Sundin signing story; TSN's story published at 6:56 p.m. EST on Dec. 18, after Mats agreed to join the Vancouver Canucks.

Which means our big winner is:

267. Posted by Chad Q Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:35 pm EST

Vancouver Canucks Dec. 18th 3:23 p.m.

Congrats to Chad Q. (also quite the accomplished fantasy player it seems), who wins a copy of 2K Sports' "NHL 2K9" for either PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 2. If you don't like video games, we could give you a copy of "Slap Shot 3" instead. Hit us on e-mail to collect your prize, sir.

Meanwhile, in Vancouver, they're celebrating the arrival of Sundin with subtle, guarded optimism ... oh, who are we kidding? Even a huge celebrity like Gene Simmons of KISS gets sloppy seconds from the media when Mats is flying into town. Not that we imagine it'd be the first time Mr. Simmons has partaken in seconds and/or sloppies.

From the Vancouver Province article "Sundin the saviour has arrived":

He didn't say anything upon arrival at YVR Monday afternoon -- quickly bolting into a waiting car. Still, that hasn't stopped others from talking long and loud about Sundin.

From the moment the Canucks tendered a two-year, $20-million-US offer for the highly coveted unrestricted free agent on July 1, the hype meter has gone off the scale in the hope that the team would finally secure what it so sorely needs -- a bona fide big, dominant first-line centre.

Sundin may not be the Pope, but he's already being regarded as a saviour for a franchise that hasn't captured a Stanley Cup in its 38-year existence.

Mats isn't expected to play tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, but will address the media and cure lepers at a press conference today.

OK, so maybe Sundin isn't the Pope. But if we need one dude for a hand of No-Limit Texas Hold'em, it's not going to be the one with the funny hat. Although he could probably hide a few aces somewhere in that flowing robe ... and has that whole "Bat-phone hotline to Jesus" thing on his side, too.

One quirky side note to the Sundin airport madness of yesterday: TV crews that were on a stakeout for Mats ended up capturing the arrival of KISS bassist Gene Simmons and his reality show family for a New Year's vacation.

Not pictured: Peter Criss, singing "Beth" and begging for change outside of the men's room.

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