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NHL Star Mats Sundin Signs With Vancouver Canucks

After many months of waiting, Mats Sundin has finally joined an NHL team for the 2008-2009 season: the Vancouver Canucks. The free agent centre joins the Canucks after playing more than 1,300 career NHL regular season games with Toronto and Quebec.

For hockey fans, it was the end of a never-ending saga. Free agent extraordinaire Mats Sundin, formerly of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has decided to join the Vancouver Canucks for terms that have not yet been disclosed.

The signing ended many months of speculation around the veteran centre, who was undecided on whether he would return to the National Hockey League for an 18th season. “I am truly excited to be joining the Canucks,” said Sundin in a team statement. “Once I made the decision to return to play a few weeks ago, the Vancouver opportunity was simply the best overall fit.”

Mike Gillis, Vancouver Canucks General Manager, echoed the statement. “Playing previously in two Canadian markets and consistently being among team and League leaders in scoring, Mats has proven that he can excel under pressure. He adds a wealth of experience, leadership and skill to the Canucks.”

Sundin definitely knows his way around the NHL. In 83 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has notched 74 points. In 1305 regular season games, Sundin has recorded 555 goals, 766 assists, 1321 points and 1065 penalty minutes. At the conclusion of the 2007-08 season, he held the Maple Leafs franchise record for most goals (420) and points (987).

During his international career, Sundin has won the World Championships on three occasions (1991, 1992 and 1998) and was captain of Team Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics. He won gold with his fellow Swedes who are also now his fellow Canucks — Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Mattias Ohlund.

The Canucks were not the only team interested in the star centre. Sundin and his agent also held meetings with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers.

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