Originally posted by Vancouver Sun (vancouversun.com)Ex-Canuck, long-time Leaf Mats Sundin retires: ‘It’s been a great journey’ Canwest News Service September 30, 2009 5:37 PM
Mats Sundin, considered one of the greatest European players to ever play in the NHL, has retired.
The 38-year-old Sundin — who took much of last season debating his future before signing with the Vancouver Canucks — made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference in his native Sweden.
"It's a little sad to announce that my career as a professional hockey player is over," he told reporters. "I would have loved to play until the age of 65, but as a hockey player you obviously retire a little earlier than that."
Sundin, who began his career in 1990 with the now defunct Quebec Nordiques after being drafted first overall the previous year, spent 13 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
He became the team's all-time leading scorer during his tenure with the Leafs.
He scored 564 goals and 785 assists in 1,346 career games with the Leafs, Nordiques and Vancouver Canucks.
"It feels good, it comes from the heart," said Sundin. "I've had a long career and have played since I was a child. It's hard to summarize everything but it's been a great journey … I couldn't have had a better life than the one I've had."
I have a group of friends in Vancouver and a group of friends in Toronto: each of them don't care that he retired. It's too bad that he strung Vancouver along as long as he did; but I guess since he did it to Toronto, why not somewhere else?
For the record, as a Leafs fan, I could care less. I'm still upset that Tie Domi retired.
"I have a feeling that waiting isn't as pointless as it seems. If someone is waiting, that place becomes a place to return to."
His stats are way up there. Even when the entire Toronto team sucked he still got his goals and assists. But the fact that he was never the leader he was supposed to be, plus the bitter taste he left the last few years will be what many will remember.
My question is simple. We all know that if Super Mario plays 70 or so games this year he will probably lead the league in scoring. Is he the greatest player ever? I say yes, but given where I'm from, I'm certainly biased.