Mats Sundin Elected To Hall Of Fame
What does a Hockey Hall of Fame resume look like? How about 1,346 NHL games, 564 goals, 785 assists and an Olympic gold medal at the 2006 Olympic games—those are the numbers that earned former Toronto Maple Leaf captain Mats Sundin a place in the Hall.
Originally drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Sundin spent a total of 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs.
Sundin was acquired from Quebec in what was a very controversial trade at the time.
Sundin, along with Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner and Philadelphia’s first round choice in 1994 Entry Draft, went to Toronto in exchange for Maple Leaf fan favorite Wendel Clark along with defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre, prospect Landon Wilson and Toronto’s first round choice in 1994 Entry Draft.
At the time of the deal, many fans of the Blue and White openly criticized the move, but as time went by Toronto fans came to love Sundin and knew they were lucky to have a player of such skill and class in their stable, regardless of the price they paid.
Riddle me this—what kind of success would the Maple Leafs have had without Mats Sundin in the lineup all those years? Not much!
Often forced to play with sub-par wingers, Sundin still managed to have an exceptional career with the Maple Leafs, emerging as the Maple Leafs all-time leader in points with 567 and goals with 420.
Sundin wore the Blue and White uniform of the Maple Leafs with great pride throughout his career and is regarded as one of the best captains in the history of the franchise.
Sundin’s calm demeanor and infectious smile endeared him to fans and teammates. He was excellent with the media and never complained, no matter how bad things got on or off the ice.
While Sundin never won a Stanley Cup, he was always a catalyst in any playoff success the Maple Leafs had, scoring 32 goals and 38 assists (70 points) through 77 career playoff games with the Buds.
While there are still plenty of Maple Leaf fans that resent Sundin for not waiving his no-trade clause in the final year of his contract, time should heal those wounds.
At the end of the day, no matter how it all ended for Sundin, Toronto was lucky to have him for the 13 years that he wore the Blue and White. We should be so lucky as to find another gem like Sundin. His acceptance into the Hockey Hall of Fame is well deserved.
Until next time,