Toronto Maple Leafs: Mats Sundin and Their 7 All-Time Biggest Team-First Guys

Adam DavisCorrespondent INovember 22, 2011

Toronto Maple Leafs: Mats Sundin and Their 7 All-Time Biggest Team-First Guys

0 of 7

    When putting together a hockey team, you must look for guys who will put the needs of the team ahead of their own. They are guys that keep the team glued together and are the real leaders on the roster. 

    Sometimes team-first players are the captains on the club, and other times they are the less-known guys who shy away from the limelight. 

    Toronto has had many incredible players on the team throughout its history, and let's see which guys have cared more about the team during their time in the blue and white. 

Tomas Kaberle

1 of 7

    Kaberle isn't just a team-first guy, he's an anyone-else-but-himself-first kind of guy.

    He always opted to pass before shooting on the power play, something that upset plenty of Toronto fans, but he did rack up 437 assists along the way. 

    Kaberle is 11th all time in games played in Toronto history, and he always managed to get the job done, even if he didn't always pull the trigger on a big shot. 

Dave Keon

2 of 7

    Keon was captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, and he currently sits in third all time on the franchise scoring list. 

    He racked up many more assists than goals in his tenure in Toronto, showing his pass-first/let-the-other-guy-score mentality. 

    Keon also won back-to-back Lady Byng Memorial Trophies, given to the player who best exhibits sportsmanship. He was a solid player who just went out on the ice to do his job as a part of the bigger picture and was one of the most beloved Maple Leafs in history. 

Borje Salming

3 of 7

    The tough Swedish defenseman is a legend in Maple Leafs history. He is third in games played and fourth in points, and he played 16 of his 17 NHL seasons in Toronto.

    Not many defensemen are as beloved by their teams as Salming, and he always got the job done night in and night out. 

    Salming never looked to be on the front page and just worked hard to rack up assists every year, even when his own shots didn't find the back of the net. 

Mats Sundin

4 of 7

    Sundin is definitely one of the most beloved players to ever play in Toronto. He averaged more than a point a game as a Leaf and sits on top of the franchise list in points. 

    He was an amazing captain for 11 years. He always led by example and worked hard. He was a great leader and always put the team first, every single game. 

George Armstrong

5 of 7

    Armstrong played 21 years as a Maple Leaf, his entire career, until the ripe old age of 40. He was captain for 11 of those years and has played the most games than any other member of the Toronto organization.

    He led the team to four Stanley Cup wins, including three in a row. He was an amazing leader who was consistent in his point total year in and year out. 

    Armstrong is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in team history, and he never looked take the credit for himself. 

Nikolai Kulemin

6 of 7

    For the sake of picking someone currently on the roster, Kulemin is the most-tenured player on the Leafs roster and definitely one of the quietest scoring threats on the team. 

    Kulemin barely finds himself in the media and seems to love it that way. He just gets on the ice and scores goals. 

    He's a threat to score every time he touches the puck, but he will never take credit for his efforts on the ice. 

Doug Gilmour

7 of 7

    Dougie Gilmour is a huge fan favorite in Toronto, and he was one of the best players to play in Toronto. 

    Gilmour was captain of the Leafs, played seven seasons in Toronto and averaged more than a point a game during his time there. 

    He did whatever it took to rally his team during a time when the club wasn't all that promising. Whether it took a goal or a big fight to get his team going, he went for it.

    Gilmour was the quintessential team-first player in Leafs history.