Photo: Reuters/Fred Thornhill
The franchise’s all-time goals and points leader is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Congrats Mats.
A model of consistency and clutch play for his 13 seasons in a Leaf jersey (11 spent as Captain) – breaking the major franchise records along the way – Sundin’s importance was also substantial in the European hockey community as the first ever European to be drafted first overall. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest serving non-North American captain in NHL history. He was the first Swede to join the 500-goal and 1000-point clubs and captained his national team to an Olympic gold medal in 2006.
For some Mats tributes, be sure to check out MLHS’ “Memories of Mats” series posted in the buildup to Sundin’s banner raising ceremony in February.
Now, I for one dislike the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” debate when it comes to the National Hockey League Hockey Hall Of Fame. Â After all, I think it somewhat demeans and disregards the accomplishments of those who are selected, and that simply isn’t right.
No one knows better than I do how much Dino Ciccarelli deserves the call to the Hall. Â I have been telling more or less anyone who will listen for a number of years that I thought he belonged. Â I couldn’t be happier for Â Angela James and Cammi Granato, the first female players to be enshrined. Â And Jim Devellano and Daryl “Doc” Seamen are both incredibly intelligent men who deserve their spot along hockey’s greatest.
But as a Leafs fan, it’s hard not to feel selfishly snubbed once again. Â With yesterday’s vote for the Hall of Fame here and gone for another year, the only thing I could think of wasn’t what was, but what could have been.
And what could have been would have been really special.