Ice Hockey Wiki
Mats Sundin
Mats Sundin 1997.jpg
Sundin with the Leafs in 1997
Position Centre
Shoots Right
6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
231 lb (105 kg)
Teams Nacka HK (Allsvenskan)
Djurgårdens IF (SEL)
Quebec Nordiques
Toronto Maple Leafs
Vancouver Canucks
Born (1971-02-13)February 13, 1971,
Bromma, Sweden
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1989
Quebec Nordiques
Pro Career 1988 – 2009

Mats Johan Sundin (Swedish pronunciation: [mats sɵndiːn]; born February 13, 1971) is a retired Swedish professional ice hockey player. 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 second-longest active serving captain in the NHL, behind Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche, and the longest serving non-North American born captain in NHL history.[1] Sundin last played for the Vancouver Canucks in the 2008–09 season before announcing his retirement on September 30, 2009. Excluding his first season, the shortened lockout season and his half season with the Vancouver Canucks, Sundin has scored at least 70 points every year. He has played at least 70 games in every full length NHL season of his career, and has led the Leafs in points in every year he has been 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.[1] He is the Leafs' franchise all-time leader in goals (420) and points (984). He is currently tied with Jaromír Jágr, Sergei Fedorov, and Patrik Eliáš for the NHL record for regular season overtime goals (15).

Internationally, Sundin has won three gold medals with Sweden at the World Championships and a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

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.[2] At the time, Sundin was playing in the Swedish second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan for Nacka HK.[3] 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.[4] He scored his first NHL goal against the Hartford Whalers in his first NHL game on October 4, 1990.[1] 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).[1] 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 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. Sundin finished with a career-playoff-high 16 points in 17 playoff contests.

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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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.[11] At the end of the game, he was ceremoniously elected the first, second, and third star of the game.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] 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 at the Vancouver Canucks 2009 SuperSkills Competition

Sundin became a free agent on July 1, 2008, although the Maple Leafs had previously given the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers special rights to negotiate with him until then.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

Sundin made his Canucks debut on January 7, 2009, in a 4–2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers,[19] 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.[20] 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.[21] Having established himself as a point-per-game player throughout his career, Sundin was criticized for his regular-season play,[22][23] managing just 28 points in 41 games while playing mostly on the second line with Pavol Demitra and Ryan Kesler,[24] 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,[25] 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. On September 30, 2009, Sundin announced his retirement at a press conference in his native Stockholm, Sweden.[26]In 2012, Mats was inducted into the [[Hockey Hall of Fame.

International play

Medal record
Competitor for Flag of Sweden.png Sweden
Men's ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Gold 2006 Turin
World Championships
Silver 2003 Finland
Bronze 2001 Germany
Gold 1998 Switzerland
Bronze 1994 Italy
Gold 1992 Czechoslovakia
Gold 1991 Finland

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.[27] Sundin was the captain of the Swedish National Team in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Despite the controversy surrounding the team allegedly throwing a game earlier in the tournament,[28] 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:

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.[29] 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.[30] 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."[31] 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.[32]

In September 2008, Sundin announced an endorsement deal with PokerStars. He plays under the username "MatsSundin" and will donate any earnings to charity.[33]

On August 29, 2009, Mats married fiancée Josephine Johansson. The guest list exceeded 200 people and included several current(at the time) and ex-teammates.[34]



  • Tied-most regular season overtime goals (15, shared with Jaromír Jágr, Sergei Fedorov and Patrik Eliáš)
  • Tied-20th in career goals (564, shared with Joe Nieuwendyk)
  • 32nd in career assists (785)
  • 25th 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)
  • Longest serving European-born and trained captain of an NHL franchise in league history (10 seasons)
  • Only Swedish player to reach the 500 goal milestone (564)
  • Most career points, goals and assists 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 two players (Marcel Dionne) to record at least 20 goals in his first 16 NHL seasons
  • Most games played by a European born-and-trained forward (1346)

Toronto Maple Leafs

Awards and achievements

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1988–89 Nacka HK Swe-2 25 10 8 18 18
1989–90 Djurgårdens IF SEL 34 10 8 18 16 8 7 0 7 4
1990–91 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 23 36 59 58
1991–92 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 33 43 76 103
1992–93 Quebec Nordiques NHL 80 47 67 114 96 6 3 1 4 6
1993–94 Quebec Nordiques NHL 84 32 53 85 60
1994–95 Djurgårdens IF SEL 12 7 2 9 14
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
2008–09 Vancouver Canucks NHL 41 9 19 28 28 8 3 5 8 2
NHL totals 1346 564 785 1349 1093 91 38 44 82 74


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1989 Sweden EJC 6 5 4 9 8
1990 Sweden EJC 6 6 2 8 14
1990 Sweden WJC 7 5 2 7 6
1991 Sweden CC 8 2 6 8 8
1992 Sweden WC 8 2 6 8 8
1994 Sweden WC 8 5 9 14 4
1996 Sweden WCH 4 4 3 7 4
1998 Sweden Oly 4 3 0 3 4
1998 Sweden WC 10 5 6 11 6
2001 Sweden WC 2 0 1 1 2
2002 Sweden Oly 4 5 4 9 10
2003 Sweden WC 7 6 4 10 10
2004 Sweden WCH 4 1 5 6 0
2006 Sweden Oly 8 3 5 8 4
Senior int'l totals 65 31 46 77 52

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Sundin's extended bio". The Province (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  2. "Mats Sundin - Legends of Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  3. Players - Mats Sundin. Retrieved on 2006-11-28.
  4. "1990-91 Quebec Nordiques [NHL]". Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  5. "Sundin heaved broken stick into stands". ESPN (2004-01-07). Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  6. "Sundin to visit eye specialist". CBC (2005-10-31). Retrieved on 2009-02-27.
  7. "Sundin joins NHL's 500 bluc", BBC News, 2006-10-15. Retrieved on 2008-12-20. 
  8. "No. 500 makes Leafs fans stand up and cheer for their captain". Globe and Mail (2006-10-16). Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  9. "Victory the revenge as Leafs edge Devils". TSN (2007-03-20). Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  10. "Senators complete sweep of Leafs". CBC (2007-10-04). Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  11. Hunter, Paul. "Sundin breaks Leafs' scoring record", Toronto Star, 2007-10-12. Retrieved on 2008-12-20. 
  12. Russo, Michael. "Saturday’s 3-2 comeback win over Phoenix; Sunday column supplement", Star Tribune, 2007-10-14. Retrieved on 2010-09-02. 
  13. "Sundin breaks 83-year-old Leafs record in 4-2 win over Penguins", USA Today, 2007-12-01. Retrieved on 2008-12-20. 
  14. "Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin won't waive no-trade clause". International Herald Tribune (2008-02-25). Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved on 2008-12-20.
  15. "Leafs gave Rangers permission", Sportsnet, 2008-06-23. Retrieved on 2008-07-25. 
  16. Jamieson, Jim. "The art of enticing Sundin", Montreal Gazette, 2008-07-23. Retrieved on 2008-07-25. 
  17. Rosen, Dan (December 18, 2008). Barry: Sundin decision will come this week. NHL. Retrieved on 2008-12-18.
  18. "Sundin giving Canucks $1.4m discount". Vancouver Sun (2008-12-19). Retrieved on 2008-12-19.
  19. "Sundin era starts slowly". Globe and Mail (2009-01-09). Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  20. "Sundin's first goal not enough to lift Canucks". National Post (2009-01-10). Retrieved on 2009-01-11.
  21. "Canucks' Sundin scores shootout winner in return to Toronto". TSN. Retrieved on 2009-02-21.
  22. "Sundin a big bust so far", Toronto Star. Retrieved on 2009-06-06. 
  23. "Sorry Canucks are stuck with Sundin". (2009-02-02). Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  24. BRAD ZIEMER (14 May 2009). Sundin to mull his future (again) over summer. The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved on 7 June 2009.
  25. "Salo, Sundin set to return". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved on 2009-06-06.
  26. "Mats Sundin slutar med ishockeyn", 2009-09-30. (Swedish) 
  27. Super Sudden Galen i att vinna (Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved on April 19, 2007.
  28. "Men's Hockey: Slovakia shuts out Sweden", Associated Press, 2006-02-21. Retrieved on 2007-03-05. 
  29. Dimanno, Rosie. "Captain courteous, vague", Toronto Star, 2007-10-11. Retrieved on 2008-05-02. 
  30. Leitch, Carolyn. "Captain's Crib", Globe and Mail, 2006-05-19. Retrieved on 2008-05-02. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. 
  31. O'Connor, Joe. "Sundin puts house up for sale", National Post, 2006-05-12. Retrieved on 2008-05-02. 
  32. Tracey, Scott. "Guelph students honour Maple Leafs captain with Lourdes' National Leadership Award", Waterloo Region Record, 2008-05-01. Retrieved on 2008-05-01. 
  33. "Sundin Signs With PokerStars", MarketWatch, 2008-09-03. Retrieved on 2008-09-03. 
  34. Reporter, Staff. "Canucks centre Mats Sundin ties the knot", Vancouver Sun, 2009-08-30. Retrieved on 2009-08-30. 

External links

Preceded by
Mike Modano
NHL first overall draft pick
Succeeded by
Owen Nolan
Preceded by
Daniel Doré
Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Owen Nolan
Preceded by
Doug Gilmour
Toronto Maple Leafs captain
Succeeded by
Dion Phaneuf

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