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Your Call: Is Mats Sundin the greatest Leaf of all-time?

TSN.ca Staff

2/11/2012 12:01:33 AM

When the Toronto Maple Leafs raise former captain Mats Sundin's number to the rafters on Saturday night they will be honouring the franchise leader in goals and points, but is he the greatest player ever to pull on the Blue and White?

Acquired in a deal with the Quebec Nordiques along with Garth Butcher and Todd Warriner in exchange for Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson and another former team captain, Wendel Clark, the former first overall pick had a huge impact with the Leafs in his 13 seasons with the club.

When Sundin left the club following the 2007-08 season he had set franchise records with 420 goals and 987 points.

The native of Bromma, Sweden was also captain of the team for 10 seasons, a longer tenure than both Clark and another player who has had his number honoured by the team, Doug Gilmour.

Under Sundin's leadership, the Toronto Maple Leafs played in the Eastern Conference final twice, losing to the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.

He topped 30 goals 10 times while playing in Toronto and his 500th career goal was a dramatic winner as part of a three-goal night against the Calgary Flames in October of 2006.

However, the Leafs have a long history of other great players to choose from.

Borje Salming is not only one of the best defencemen to play for the Maple Leafs but he's considered among the all-time great rear guards to ever play in the NHL and has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Salming holds franchise records in both goals and assists by a defenceman and is applauded not only for his skill on offence but his toughness in his own end as well.

Speaking of toughness, no one exemplified that aspect of the game in Toronto quite like Wendel Clark.

Though he was only captain of the team for three seasons, the Leafs advanced to the Conference Finals in two of those years before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks.

Clark had the ability to score, once totaling 46 goals in a season. He also dropped the gloves regularly to protect his teammates, and once racked up 193 minutes in penalties in just 66 games played.

Gilmour, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, also proudly wore the Leaf jersey and spent three seasons as team captain.
 
Considered one of the best two-way players while he was active in the league, he also holds the team record for points in a season with 127.
 
Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, George Armstrong, Johnny Bower, the list of greats to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs is endless, but is Mats Sundin the greatest player ever?

It's Your! Call.