Yesterday, Mats Sundin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. While it caused some consternation, anyone with a clue knows that he deserves the honour of being enshrined in the hall. It will be the final accolade to cap of a career where he was consistently the franchise's best player with supporting casts that pale to his contemporaries. He'll go into the Hall as the greatest Leaf player of the last generation and a giant in Swedish hockey.
So in order to continue the celebration, today the Noon Number makes a comeback and revisits our top 13 Sundin moments as a Leaf as selected by myself and Sundin Superfan Eyebleaf. Enjoy!
Mats Sundin Top 13 Leafs Moments
Mats was always the best player on his team.
"The game was, again, a microcosm of Sundin's career. He did it all, with little help, and the Leafs always ended up a little short."
"I can still see him waving that flag, passed on to him by Red Horner. It said "Memories and Dreams." Sundin gave us both."
"I'll never forget that shot of Sundin on the bench. I hope you don't, either. Sundin cared. Sundin wanted to win."
" When the Toronto Maple Leafs needed a goal, it was of course Mats Sundin who scored it. Captain clutch."
"Sundin's got the puck at the Ottawa blue line. Sundin fakes a slapshot. The camera moves. Sundin fires, for real this time. "PING!" Off the pipe and in. The Leafs win 1-0."
"Sundin was a leader. He proved it. The moment is vivid in my memory, and almost a microcosm of Sundin's career in Toronto. He pulled his weight, he pulled his guys with him, but, for some reason, it was just never enough."
"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."
"As loyal as they come, Sundin went down with the ship. Let no one tell you that Mats wasn't a leader. No, really, punch him, or her, if you hear that. Being the captain for as long as he was cost Sundin his beautiful, flowing blonde hair."
"Sundin scored the goal - scored his 1000th point -- right in front of me. Literally. And I went wild. I couldn't, frankly, believe my luck. After getting to 998 points on Feb. 25th of that year, Sundin went into a slump; he put up one point - an assist - in six games leading up to that night in Edmonton. Sundin waited for me. Thank you, Mats."
"Sundin gave us one last backhand shelf, in the shootout, to win the game, that night, except he did it for Vancouver. But there were no hard feelings. Sundin might have been wearing a Canucks jersey, but we all knew he was a Maple Leaf."
"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."
"Mats Sundin always had a flair for the dramatic."