Cornwall - February 16, 2012 - In this week's installment of 30 Second Timeout we take a look back at the career of former Toronto Maple Leafs captain, Mats Sundin. This week’s question was:
Does Mats Sundin belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?
Below you will find the responses from six of our columnists. Feel free to vote for your choices in the poll below.
Phillip Blancher - Mats Sundin certainly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Putting team rivalries aside, look at the numbers that Sundin put up during his career in Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver. Had Sundin had better support on-ice during his time in Toronto he could very well have had a
Stanley Cup. If NHL stars like Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk have
been admitted, how can you not let Sundin in?
Steve Minakakis -Mats Sundin was a career point per game player. He definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Sundin is currently in the top 30 in all time points by an NHL player. He has very similar numbers to another former Leaf Captain, Doug Gilmour. Gilmour was inducted in the Hall of Fame this past year and it's likely Sundin will find his way into the Hall eventually. I'm not sure of the exact statistics, but I can confidently say that the majority of players who were a point per game and in the top 30 in all time points, are in the Hall of Fame.
David Murphy - Mats Sundin compares very favourably with one of the all time greats - Gilbert Perrault. Both played in nine All Star games and were voted 2nd Team NHL All Stars twice. Sundin's 564 goals and 1349 points are slightly better than Perrault's numbers. Neither won the Stanley Cup. Perrault won two NHL awards (Calder and Lady Byng) while Sundin never picked up any such hardware. Where Sundin solidifies his case is on the international stage where played in several World Champinships, a World Cup and he was also captained Sweden to a Gold Medal at the 2006 Olympics. Mats Sundin = HOF.
Chris Savard - Sundin scored over 30 goals in a season on 13 different occasions, with four seasons over 40. His best season was 92-93 when he scored 114 points in Quebec. He was a career point per game player and currently sits 27th in NHL All-Time scoring. Only six players ahead of him on this list are not in the Hall and two of them are still playing (Jaromir Jagr and Teemu Selanne). While he never won a Cup, he did produce in the post-season, registering 82 points in 91 games. Sundin is the highest scoring Swede in NHL History and belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Rob Soria - Sundin is a tough one for me. I think he was a very good player for a long time but I don’t think he was ever a great player. Obviously, playing in Toronto will be huge advantage for him when it comes to balloting but his teams never did anything in the post season and he only had one 100 point season. Having said that, he was a point a game player for his career and scored well over 500 goals while putting up 1,349 points. After all that, I say yes but not on the first ballot.
Marshall Stevenson - While I was at the ACC when Sundin scored his 300th (against the Flames) in a thrilling overtime win, I can't say that he would be an immediate vote in to the Hall of Fame. I believe that he does hold a place there at some point, which hurts me to say as an anti-Leafs fan. To hold that "C" for that length of time on a team and then to have nobody fill it for a number of years (ironic it's a former Flame in Phaneuf who was next in line) definitely means that he played and contributed to the franchise in a meaningful way. That being said, just because you become a captain, doesn't make you a future member of the HHOF. In fact, I hope to never see Phaneuf there.