It was Oct. 14 2006, and Mats Sundin had just scored his 500th goal not to mention a shorthanded game winner. The crowd erupted. It was just one of many great Sundin moments in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform.
Almost three years later Sundin, 38 announced
this morning in a press conference in his home town of Stockholm, Sweden that he would be retiring from hockey.
Sundin played in the NHL for 18 seasons including a short stint with the Vancouver in 2008-2009 where he played 41 games plus two playoff series.
However, he will be most remembered for his 14 years as a Toronto Maple Leaf. He dawned the captaincy of the Leafs for 10 years and holds the Leaf's all time records in points and goals.
Controversy struck for Sundin around February of 2008 when Leafs management asked Sundin to waive the no trade clause in his contract so the Leafs could trade him in exchange for a few draft picks and prospects. But Sundin refused to waive the clause saying that he didn't want to be a "rental player" in another city.
Sundin became a free agent that July and after months and months of waiting on December 18th 2008 Sundin signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
Some fans felt that Sundin had stabbed the Leaf fans in the back because he could of helped the franchise begin the rebuilding process by moving him but instead they lost him to free agency for nothing.
But the true Leaf fan will put all of that aside and remember all the good Mats gave to the Maple Leafs franchise.
And one day, we'll raise his No. 13 to the rafters.
Here's a selection photos of Sundin courtesy of Cafe Magazine, showing a different side of the all-star: