The Hockey Hall of Fame is a strange place to find Mats Sundin, but he was a Maple Leaf so he has a different set of criteria that he had to hit before he was admitted. Sundin’s greatest accomplishment was undoubtedly his ability to Captain his squad to exactly ZERO championships while picking up absolutely NO League Hardware along the way (Unless you count that Mark Messier Leadership BS).
Make no mistake, Sundin was a very good player. A VERY good player. He was a point per game guy for over 1300 career games, he scored 500+ goals, and he was an All-Star. That said, I dont see how he was a first ballot Hall of Famer. There are other deserving players or builders that could be going in, nay, should be going in before Sundin. The sad fact is that he was the Captain of the Maple Leafs and he is being treated accordingly.
I think we can all agree on one thing though, the way Sundin screwed over the Leafs and by extension every Leafs fan was incredible. The man had a No Trade clause and a GM too bull-headed to ask Sundin to waive it. The result was hilarious from a Oilers fan’s perspective. I’ve watched so many players leave that by necessity I’ve become all too aware of the value my favourite players have on the open market. It was an absolute pleasure to watch a perfectly good asset like Mats Sundin rot on the vine the way he did. It was as if there was a staring contest between Burke and Sundin and neither party blinked.
If I was a Leafs fan I would have absolutely lost it on both BB and MS. I cant figure out why more werent absolutely livid with Sundin. Mats had no intention of re-signing with Toronto, by sticking it out with the Leafs he was doing them more harm than good. If he really cared about that franchise he would have allowed them to get something in return for him. What a dink.
This is a guy who was never the League’s best anything. He never won a championship. He only went above 90 points twice in his career. He more consistent than he was outstanding. I’m sorry, but if consistency was your calling card, then you should probably have to wait for your turn to enter the Hall of Fame. On top of it all, he was a member of the detestable Leafs.
Personally, I wish they had inducted him as a Nordique just to screw over Leafs nation again.