NHL All-Star Game: Mats Sundin the Man to Replace Dany Heatley

Matthew Di NicolantonioAnalyst IJanuary 13, 2008


The Ottawa Senators announced today that forward Dany Heatley will miss the next six weeks with a shoulder injury sustained during Saturday night's victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

As a result, he will also miss the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta at the end of this month.

Until the NHL names his replacement for the Eastern Conference, the subject is open to debate over who should get the call.

To me, the obvious choice should be Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin.

The 37-year-old Swede is currently 15th in the league in scoring with 49 points (20-29). The fact that Sundin has been able to put up these numbers on an inconsistent Maple Leafs team speaks volumes to his ability as one of the game’s top offensive stars.

Add this to being one of the elder statesmen in the NHL and Sundin appears to be a shoo-in.

However, he will likely be overlooked because the Leafs currently sit in the bottom five in the league.

Evgeni Malkin, Marc Savard, and Vaclav Prospal are three other names that come to mind. But Sundin’s combination of points, consistency, and age should ultimately give him the upper hand.

While we are on the subject of Sundin, here’s to hoping the Leafs do the right thing this February and ask Mats to waive his no-trade clause.

As much as Mats wants to win in Toronto, it is evident that will not happen this season or next.

Mats deserves to go to a Cup contender and win his silverware. The Leafs will get prospects and draft picks back for their captain and will, hopefully, use them to make the team better for the future.

Then Mats can return at season’s end and reap the benefits of the assets he was traded for.