In past articles, I have been critical of a Mats Sundin return to the Leafs for various reasons. I still have not changed my position on the subject.
Now, however, I'd like to take moment to say thank you to Mats for all the years he gave to my beloved Leafs. Never have I ever thought that Mats was anything other than completely respectful, mindful, and honest as the captain of the Leafs.
Mats probably gave up a tremendous amount by standing by his commitment to this franchise. In other markets, who knows what greatness a strong power forward with Mats' skill might have done.
In the hell that comes with being captain in the most media saturated hockey market, Mats has been profoundly composed and mature.
Seldom did you hear him whine about anything.
He is a player that did not hesitate to allow my son to choose as his favorite player, for I knew Mats would not do anything to pollute my son's hockey world.
Many say that he never delivered a Cup to Toronto. I say, so what? It still does not change the fact that Mats has demonstrated a remarkable sense of dignity to a franchise that seldom has any.
Mats, I truly wish you luck on where ever you end up. You deserve to be happy, and you deserve to hoist the Cup, if that opportunity graces your world.
I have not yet put numbers on the back of my son's new Leafs jersey, but I have no doubt the number 13 will end up there, as my son will always be a big fan.
I also thank you for providing many wonderful memories.
We will miss your positive attitude and class.
I truly hope the next Leafs captain brings with them the same level of class and maturity.
You definitely should and will probably end up on the Hall of Fame.
I can't wait to take my son there and show him your display, I know he will be very pleased.
I also will never be able to eat chunky soup without hearing your mom yell "Mats, come and get your chunky soup!"
Thanks buddy, you're a total class act!