Well, I have been a Toronto Maple Leafs fan since I was little. There is just something about the city and the team. When I visited Toronto, I fell in love. I grew up in Cleveland and we lost our hockey team in the late 1970's, so I was basically a free agent. I cheered for the Edmonton Oilers initially, as anyone growing up and watching Wayne Gretzky was really in for a treat. However, I remember being 15 and having two teams...I was on vacation in Seattle with my parents and the Los Angeles Kings acquired Gretzky in a mammoth trade and the days of my Oilers cheering was over. I was then a Maple Leafs fan through and through, 20 years ago this year. How time flies...
Anyway, I've been a big fan of captain Mats Sundin, No. 13. He has been a fantastic player since his acquisition from the Quebec Nordiques back on June 28, 1994. People forget, we got Sundin AND Todd Warriner and Garth Butcher - lol. However, the price tag was simply Wendel Clark, who returned later, Sylvain Lefebvre and Landon Wilson. There was also a swap of first-round picks. In any event, not a bad deal for 14 years of devoted service from Captain Clutch.
Sundin has more goals than any other Maple Leafs player, passing Darryl Sittler for the franchise lead in just the second game this season. On Nov. 27, he potted his 400th goal with the Leafs, a record that might never be broken again.
The Big Swede has managed 548 goals and 1,305 points in 1,294 NHL games in 17 seasons, 13 with the Leafs. Now, it appears as the floundering Maple Leafs are in the basement of the Northeast Division and getting older by the minute, Mats Sundin has played his final game in the mighty blue and white.
It looks like No. 13 is going to be moved to a team out west, perhaps the Anaheim Ducks or San Jose Sharks. I've heard rumors of Bobby Ryan, a huge prospect, being included in the deal. The Leafs really do need to get younger. However, when I am not watching the Leafs in the playoffs, as there is virtually no chance they can qualify, I will still be cheering. Cheering for Sundin, hoping he can finally find that elusive Stanley Cup, even if it is in another NHL city.