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.
I was invited onto the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast (which I forgot was on Sportsnet which could have been awkward when I almost said "those idiots on Sportsnet") on Friday to talk about Mats Sundin's tenure as a Leaf and I was asked for his place in the pantheon of Leaf greats. Being a young guy, I noted that for fans of a certain vintage, he'll never match Keon or Sittler but that at worst they have to admit he's in the troika of Toronto greats. However, for my generation, there is no doubt that he is the greatest we've had, are likely to have, and a lot of us would argue he's the greatest of all-time.
I think that this story means that we need to get Eyebleaf more Leafs tickets. He saw Mats' 1000th point in Edmonton and the night he surpassed Darryl Sittler as the high scorer in club history.
It was early in the 2007/2008 season that Mats Sundin became, once and for all, statistically-speaking, the greatest Toronto Maple Leaf of all-time. In an 8-1 rout of the New York Islanders, Sundin scored his 390th career goal in a Toronto uniform, and his 917th point in a Toronto uniform, becoming the franchise leader in goals and points, surpassing the great Darryl Sittler. I happened to be at the game that night, free tickets falling into my lap two hours before puck-drop. We feted Sundin three times that night with standing ovations: once, when he was credited with an assist on an early goal that we thought set the record; it was eventually taken away. Twice, when Sundin scored, this time leaving no doubt that he'd set the new Toronto Maple Leafs standard. And a third time, after the game, when Sundin was named the first, second, and third star of the evening. It's a night I'll never forget.