Mats Sundin (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Mats Sundin will have a statue in his honor join the Toronto Maple Leafs’ ‘Legends Row’ monument Saturday in a joint ceremony with Borje Salming. Sundin, who spent 13 campaigns with Toronto, was the Maple Leafs’ captain for 10 seasons and is the franchise’s all-time leader in goals and points.
Saturday is set to be the day Hall of Fame Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Borje Salming had his statue unveiled as parts of ‘Legends Row’ outside the Air Canada Center, but another Swedish Maple Leafs legend will also be on hand to join Salming: Mats Sundin.
Sundin spent the bulk of his career in Toronto. Though he was drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1989, he only spent four seasons with the organization before he was shipped to the Maple Leafs in a deal that brought another Toronto legend, Wendel Clark, to the Nordiques.
In 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs, Sundin suited up for 981 games, the sixth-most in franchise history. He finished his career as the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987). During his 13 years with the Maple Leafs, Sundin was captain for 10.
“It was a great privilege to serve as captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs and that experience will always go down as a career highlight for me,” said Sundin. “To be honoured with a statue on Legends Row is something I could never have imagined. To see my statue unveiled alongside Borje Salming, the player I grew up idolizing in Sweden, will be very special for both my family and me.”
Following his career, Sundin was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012. Upon his induction, he was just the second Swedish-born player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He is the only Swedish player to score 500 goals in the NHL and he is the highest-scoring Swede in league history by nearly 200 points.
Statues of Sundin and Salming will join those of Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler and Johnny Bower on Legends Row. In November, as part of the Hall of Fame weekend, statues will also be unveiled of Syl Apps and George Armstrong, bringing the monument to a total of seven statues.
“Legends Row is an important tribute to the many generations of Toronto Maple Leafs history and Mats Sundin is a player that the most recent generations of Leafs fans remember with great fondness,” said Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan.
The Maple Leafs previously paid tribute to Sundin by honoring his No. 13 in a pre-game ceremony on Feb. 11, 2012.