February 13, 1971 |
Bromma, Stockholm, Sweden
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16 st 11 lb)|
|Played for||Nacka HK (Allsvenskan)
Djurgårdens IF (SEL)
Toronto Maple Leafs
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 1989
|Hall of Fame, 2012|
Mats Johan Sundin (Swedish pronunciation: [mats sɵndiːn]; Born in Sweden on February 13, 1971) is a retired professional ice hockey player. He retired from the National Hockey League (NHL) in 2009. Originally drafted first overall in 1989, Sundin played his first four seasons in the NHL with the Quebec Nordiques. He was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994, where he played the majority of his career, serving 11 seasons as team captain. At the end of the 2007–08 NHL season, Sundin had been the longest serving non-North American born captain in NHL history. Sundin last played for the Vancouver Canucks in the 2008–09 season before announcing his retirement on September 30, 2009. Consecutively he played 13 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He appeared in the NHL playoffs in 10 seasons.
Excluding his rookie season, the shortened lockout season and his half season with the Vancouver Canucks, Sundin scored at least 70 points in every season of his career, played at least 70 games in every season, and led the Leafs in points in every year he was with the team except 2002–03, when Alexander Mogilny beat him by seven points. On October 14, 2006, Sundin became the first Swedish player to score 500 goals. He is the Leafs' franchise all-time leader in goals (420) and points (984). Over his career, Sundin averaged just over a point per game (1349 points in 1346 NHL games).
Sundin was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on June 26, 2012. It was his first year of eligibility. He became the second Swede, following Börje Salming, to be chosen to the Hall of Fame. He will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2013.
Playing career 
Quebec Nordiques 
Sundin was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques with the first overall pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, becoming the first European-born player drafted first overall in NHL history. At the time, Sundin was playing in the Swedish second-tier Allsvenskan for Nacka HK. He played the following season in the Elitserien for Djurgårdens IF, helping the club to the Le Mat Trophy as league champions.
Sundin made his NHL debut with Quebec during the 1990–91 NHL season, finishing second on the team behind Joe Sakic with 59 points. He scored his first NHL goal against the Hartford Whalers in his first NHL game on October 4, 1990. After improving to 76 points in his second NHL season, he led the Nordiques with a career-high 114 points in 1992–93, emerging as one of the league's premier young players. He played one more season with the Nordiques, recording 85 points in 84 games, before being dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs 
The Maple Leafs acquired Sundin in a trade on June 28, 1994. The Nordiques sent Sundin, Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner, and a 1994 first-round draft pick (acquired through the 1992 Eric Lindros deal, traded to the Washington Capitals, used to pick Nolan Baumgartner) to the Leafs in exchange for Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson, and a 1994 first-round draft pick (used to pick Jeff Kealty). However, as a result of the 1994–95 lockout, Sundin's Toronto debut was delayed and he returned to Sweden to play again for Djurgårdens IF. When NHL play resumed later that season, Sundin made an immediate impact, leading the Leafs in scoring at a point-per-game pace with 47 points. In his third season with the Maple Leafs, Sundin recorded a 41-goal, 94-point season, the second-highest of his career and the most prolific during his tenure in Toronto. With the departure of team captain Doug Gilmour to the New Jersey Devils during the 1996–97 season, Sundin was named Gilmour's successor, becoming the sixteenth Maple Leafs captain and first European captain in team history.
After an 83-point campaign in 1998–99, Sundin led the Maple Leafs into the 1999 playoffs as the fourth seed. Bolstered by the acquisitions of forward Steve Thomas and goaltender Curtis Joseph in the previous off-season, the Leafs made it to the Eastern Conference Finals against the seventh-seeded Buffalo Sabres, but were defeated in five games. Sundin finished with a career-playoff-high 16 points in 17 playoff contests. Sundin made another appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals with the Maple Leafs again in 2001–02, but lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in six games.
In 2002–03, after eight consecutive years as the Maple Leafs' leading scorer in the regular season, Sundin was succeeded by Alexander Mogilny, who topped Sundin's 72 points with 79. The following season, Mogilny suffered a serious hip injury that required him to miss 12 weeks which allowed Sundin to reclaim his spot as top scorer for the Maple Leafs that season. During the 2003–04 campaign, however, Sundin was the subject of league controversy with his infamous stick-throwing incident on January 8, 2004, against the Nashville Predators. Breaking his stick on an attempted shot, Sundin threw it aside in disgust. Instead of hitting the glass, the stick inadvertently went flying into the crowd. Deemed a reckless act by the league, Sundin was subsequently assigned a one-game suspension. After the game, as an apology, he gave a brand new autographed stick to the fan that had caught the broken stick.
As a result of the ensuing 2004–05 NHL lockout, Sundin spent the next season inactive, opting not to play in Sweden like many of his countrymen. When NHL play resumed for 2005–06, Sundin was sidelined in the first game of the season when he was struck in the face with a puck, narrowly missing his eye, but breaking his orbital bone. He returned to the lineup after a month to lead the team in scoring with 78 points. However, the Leafs did not meet the same success and missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years in 2006. It would also mark the first of Sundin's last three years with the Leafs without a post-season appearance.
Near the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Sundin became just the 35th player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal mark. He achieved the milestone on October 14, 2006, with a hat trick effort against Miikka Kiprusoff of the Calgary Flames. He scored the 500th goal with his third mark of the game over Kiprusoff's blocker in overtime to defeat the Flames 5–4. Later in the season, on March 20, 2007, Sundin reached 900 points as a Maple Leaf with a two-assist effort in a 2–1 win against the New Jersey Devils.
The following season, in 2007–08, Sundin began approaching several team records as a Maple Leaf. In the second game of the season, on October 4, 2007, against the Ottawa Senators, Sundin scored his 389th goal with the club, tying Darryl Sittler's team record. In Toronto's fifth game of the season, on October 11 versus the New York Islanders, Sundin scored his 917th point as a Maple Leaf, breaking Darryl Sittler's franchise all-time record. In the same game, he also scored his 390th goal in the third period, taking sole possession of the all-time goal-scoring lead. At the end of the game, he was ceremoniously elected the first, second, and third star of the game. On November 27, in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, Sundin became the first player to score 400 goals as a Leaf. Several days later, on December 1, in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he broke Babe Dye's 83-year-old Toronto record when he extended his home game point streak to 15 games.
With the Leafs falling out of playoff contention once more towards the end of the season and Sundin's contract set to expire, Sundin was the focus of numerous trade rumours as the February 26 trade deadline approached. Maple Leafs management requested that Sundin waive his no-trade clause in order for the team to acquire potential young talent and/or draft picks to secure the team's future. On February 25, however, he stated that he would not waive his no-trade clause, stating that he did not believe in being a "rental player" and that if he won the Stanley Cup, he wanted to do it over the course of a whole season. He remained with the club and, with 78 points, marked the fourth consecutive year and twelfth of thirteen years as the Maple Leafs leading scorer.
Vancouver Canucks 
Sundin became a free agent on July 1, 2008, although the Maple Leafs had previously given the Montreal Canadiens special rights to negotiate with him until then. On the day of free agency, newly appointed general manager Mike Gillis of the Vancouver Canucks offered Sundin a lucrative two-year, $20 million contract which, if signed, would have made him the highest paid player in the NHL. Attempting to entice him to sign with the Canucks, numerous Vancouver businesses extended Swedish-centred special offers, such as a Volvo and IKEA products. The Rangers, Canadiens and Leafs also made contract offers; however, Sundin chose to hold out for the beginning of the season, contemplating retirement. After announcing that he would, in fact, return to the NHL and sign with a team, he narrowed his prospects down to the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. On December 18, 2008, the Canucks announced that Sundin had signed with the club to a one-year, $8.6 million contract. Pro-rated for the remainder of the season, Sundin's salary worked out to $5 million. Taking a $1.4 million pay cut from the Canucks' original yearly offer, Sundin reportedly decreased his contract willingly in order to give the Canucks added salary cap space to potentially bolster their lineup before the end of the season.
Sundin made his Canucks debut on January 7, 2009, in a 4–2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, and scored his first goal with the club two games later, on January 10, a powerplay goal in a 4–2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Sundin returned to Toronto on February 21, 2009, to play his first game against the Maple Leafs. The return to the Air Canada Centre became highly emotional when a video tribute was paid to the Leafs' franchise leader during a break in the first period followed by a standing ovation. The game was decided by a shootout with Sundin scoring the winning goal against his former team resulting in a 3–2 win for Vancouver. Having established himself as a point-per-game player throughout his career, Sundin was criticized for his regular-season play, managing just 28 points in 41 games while playing mostly on the second line with Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler, Sundin returned to point-per-game form in the 2009 playoffs, however, as the Canucks entered the post-season as the Northwest Division champions. He missed the final two games of the Canucks first-round sweep against the St. Louis Blues with a suspected hip injury after falling awkwardly behind the net in game two, but returned in time for the second round against the Chicago Blackhawks. As the Canucks were eliminated in six games, Sundin finished the playoffs with 8 points in 8 games.
Sundin was honoured on October 29, 2011, more than two years after his retirement, at a Toronto Maple Leafs home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which the home team won 4–3. His number 13 jersey was honoured by the organization in a ceremony prior to a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on February 11, 2012.
On November 12th 2012, Mats Sundin was inducted into the Hall of Fame, alongside Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure.
International play 
|Competitor for Sweden|
|Men's ice hockey|
Sundin has represented Team Sweden at various international competitions, including the World Cup and the Winter Olympics, and has held the position of team captain for the national squad for the better part of the last decade. Sundin is widely recognized as one of the top players in the world in these international competitions, and has added a highly impressive list of accomplishments to his credentials as a result of his outstanding performance in the 2002 Winter Olympics and 2004 World Cup. Sundin has won three IIHF World Championships with Sweden in 1991, 1992 and 1998. Sundin finally clinched an Olympic gold medal with Team Sweden in 2006 in Turin.
A picture of his 'fighting face' when Sweden turned a 5–1 deficit into a 6–5 win over Finland during a World Championship game has become iconic. Sundin was the captain of the Swedish National Team in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He led them to a gold medal with a 3–2 victory over Finland in the final. After leading his team to the gold medal in Turin, he stated that he did not expect to return to the national team.
Sundin has played for Sweden in:
- 1989 European Junior Championships
- 1990 European Junior Championships
- 1990 World Junior Championships
- 1991 Canada Cup
- 1991 World Championships (gold medal)
- 1992 World Championships (gold medal)
- 1994 World Championships (bronze medal)
- 1996 World Cup of Hockey
- 1998 World Championships (gold medal)
- 1998 Winter Olympics
- 2001 World Championships
- 2002 Winter Olympics
- 2003 World Championships (silver medal)
- 2004 World Cup of Hockey
- 2006 Winter Olympics (gold medal)
Personal life 
Toronto is home to an intense hockey media, and since Sundin is a private individual, he was arguably the most scrutinized athlete in the city. He regularly deflected any probes into his personal life, and rarely spoke negatively of his teammates in public. In 2006, Sundin put his four-bedroom house up for sale for a price of $6.499 million, which led to a flurry of media speculation that he was unhappy with the Leafs and sought to move (and play) somewhere else. However, Sundin and his longtime girlfriend Tina Fagerström had parted ways, and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO Richard Peddie simply commented that the real estate market was very hot, and that Sundin's house was "an awfully big house for a single guy." Sundin played with the Leafs the following NHL season. On April 30, 2008, Sundin was receiving a leadership award at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Guelph, Ontario, when he announced that he and his girlfriend Josephine Johansson were engaged to be married. The two had been dating for about a year.
On August 29, 2009, Mats married fiancée Josephine Johansson. The guest list exceeded 200 people and included several current and former teammates.
- Tied-21st in career goals (564, shared with Joe Nieuwendyk)
- 33rd in career assists (785)
- 27th all time in career points (1349)
- First European-born and trained player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft (1989 by the Quebec Nordiques)
- Only Swedish player to reach the 500 goal milestone (564)
- Most career points and goals by a Swedish hockey player
- Tied-Fastest overtime goal (6 seconds, shared with Alexander Ovechkin, Simon Gagné and David Legwand)
- First Swedish player to reach 1000 points
- One of three players (Marcel Dionne, Jaromir Jagr) to record at least 20 goals in each of his first 17 NHL seasons
- Most games played by a European born-and-trained forward (1346)
Toronto Maple Leafs 
- Goals (420)
- Assists by a forward (567)
- Points (987)
- Tied-assists in a period (3, Darcy Tucker, Matt Stajan and Clarke MacArthur)
Awards and achievements 
- TV-pucken Champion as part of Team Stockholm 1986.
- Swedish Champion in 1990.
- First European born player to be drafted first overall in the NHL Entry Draft. (1989)
- Named to the Elitserien World All-Star Team in 1991, 1992, 1994 and 1998.
- Recipient of the Viking Award in 1993, 1994, 1997, and 2002.
- Named to the World Championships All-Star Team in 1992 and 2003.
- World Championships' Best Forward in 1992.
- Named to the Canada Cup All-Star Team in 1991.
- Named to the World Cup of Hockey All-Star Team in 1996.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (injured) and 2004.
- Named to the NHL Second All-Star Team in 2002 and 2004.
- Named to the Olympic Tournament All-Star Team in 2002.
- Captain of the Swedish national ice hockey team in the 2006 Olympics in which Sweden acquired the gold medal.
- Achieved 500 goal plateau on October 14, 2006.
- Achieved 1,300 points on February 7, 2008 vs the Montreal Canadiens.
- Awarded the "Mark Messier Leadership Award" in 2008.
- Enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the class of 2012 in his first year of eligibility.
Career statistics 
Regular season and playoffs 
|1994–95||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||47||23||24||47||14||7||5||4||9||4|
|1995–96||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||76||33||50||83||46||6||3||1||4||4|
|1996–97||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||41||53||94||59||—||—||—||—||—|
|1997–98||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||33||41||74||49||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||31||52||83||58||17||8||8||16||16|
|1999–00||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||73||32||41||73||46||12||3||5||8||10|
|2000–01||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||28||46||74||76||11||6||7||13||14|
|2001–02||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||82||41||39||80||94||8||2||5||7||4|
|2002–03||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||75||37||35||72||58||7||1||3||4||6|
|2003–04||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||81||31||44||75||52||9||4||5||9||8|
|2005–06||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||70||31||47||78||58||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||75||27||49||76||62||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||74||32||46||78||76||—||—||—||—||—|
|Senior int'l totals||69||36||47||83||60|
See also 
- List of Swedes in sports
- List of NHL players with 500 goals
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 1000 games played
- List of NHL players with 100 point seasons
- List of NHL statistical leaders
- List of players with five or more goals in an NHL game
- "Sundin's extended bio". The Province. 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "IIHF HoF 2013". IIHF. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- "Mats Sundin - Legends of Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "NHL.com Players - Mats Sundin". NHL.com. Retrieved 2006-11-28.[dead link]
- "1990-91 Quebec Nordiques [NHL]". HockeyDb.com. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Sundin heaved broken stick into stands". ESPN. 2004-01-07. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Sundin to visit eye specialist". CBC. 2005-10-31. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- "Sundin joins NHL's 500 bluc". BBC News. 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "No. 500 makes Leafs fans stand up and cheer for their captain". Globe and Mail. 2006-10-16. Retrieved 2008-12-20.[dead link]
- "Victory the revenge as Leafs edge Devils". TSN. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Senators complete sweep of Leafs". CBC. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Hunter, Paul (2007-10-12). "Sundin breaks Leafs' scoring record". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Russo, Michael (2007-10-14). "Saturday’s 3-2 comeback win over Phoenix; Sunday column supplement". Star Tribune.
- "Sundin breaks 83-year-old Leafs record in 4-2 win over Penguins". USA Today. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin won't waive no-trade clause". International Herald Tribune. 2008-02-25. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "Leafs gave Rangers permission". Sportsnet. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Jamieson, Jim (2008-07-23). "The art of enticing Sundin". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- Rosen, Dan (December 18, 2008). "Barry: Sundin decision will come this week". NHL. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
- "Sundin giving Canucks $1.4m discount". Vancouver Sun. 2008-12-19. Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- "Sundin era starts slowly". Globe and Mail. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2009-01-10.[dead link]
- "Sundin's first goal not enough to lift Canucks". National Post. 2009-01-10. Retrieved 2009-01-11.[dead link]
- "Canucks' Sundin scores shootout winner in return to Toronto". TSN. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
- "Sundin a big bust so far". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Sorry Canucks are stuck with Sundin". Faceoff.com. 2009-02-02. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- BRAD ZIEMER (14 May 2009). "Sundin to mull his future (again) over summer". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 7 June 2009.
- "Salo, Sundin set to return". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-06-06.[dead link]
- "Mats Sundin slutar med ishockeyn". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 2009-09-30.
- Mike Ulmer (2011-10-29). "Mats Sundin Ecstatic About Being Honoured". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- "Leafs to retire Mats Sundin's jersey". The Sports Network. Associated Press. 2011-10-30. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- Mike Ulmer (2012-02-12). "Sundin takes his place among the stars". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
- Mark Zwolinski and Kevin McGran (2012-11-12). "http://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/article/1286382--hockey-hall-of-fame-celebrations-overshadowed-by-nhl-lockout". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- "Super Sudden Galen i att vinna" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved April 19, 2007.
- Dimanno, Rosie (2007-10-11). "Captain courteous, vague". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Leitch, Carolyn (2006-05-19). "Captain's Crib". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- O'Connor, Joe (2006-05-12). "Sundin puts house up for sale". National Post. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
- Tracey, Scott (2008-05-01). "Guelph students honour Maple Leafs captain with Lourdes' National Leadership Award". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved 2008-05-01.
- "Sundin Signs With PokerStars". MarketWatch. 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-09-03.
- Reporter, Staff (2009-08-30). "Canucks centre Mats Sundin ties the knot". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-08-30.[dead link]
- Mats Sundin's player profile at NHL.com
- Mats Sundin's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Mats Sundin's player profile at TSN.ca
|NHL first overall draft pick
|Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
|Toronto Maple Leafs captain