Thank God he got cooler.
For the next two days, we're running 13 of our top memories of Mats Sundin as a Maple Leaf. There are more to choose from but Sundin captaining Sweden to Gold in 2006 and his years as a Nordique won't make an appearance on the list. For help, I enlisted Mats Sundin's biggest fan Eyebleaf to help come up with and number the list. It's far from exhaustive and your mileage may vary on our choices but these were the 13 that came immediately into our minds so consider it a small token of our appreciation for one of the greatest Leafs of all-time.
Imagine the Maple Leafs trading away a fan favourite after they scored 46 goals in a season and had been to consecutive conference finals. Imagine the pressure that the player being acquired would feel. One thing Sundin has in common with Phil Kessel is the burden of having to live up to the price paid for him.
As a Maple Leaf, Sundin would tally 987 points in 981 games before adding 82 points in 91 career playoff games for The Heroes. This is, as you'll likely notice, one of the few memories that land outside of our high school and adult lives. I wish I could say that I remember this trade but at this point I really just watched the games. In order to make some of you feel old, I had other things on my mind at 11 years old than the shifting personnel of my favourite laundry. recess was important.
On June 28, 1994, everything changed: Wendel Clark for Mats Sundin. Sure, there were other players and draft picks involved, but to Leafs fans, that was - that remains - the trade. After two glorious post-season runs, the Leafs acquired the big Swede, and he produced. From day one, until the day he was gone, Sundin produced a point-per-game. The Leafs won that trade. And it was never close.