Blog Entry

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

Posted on: April 30, 2009 10:48 am
 
Mats Sundin is perhaps the most overrated player in the game today. Labeled a superstar, some will attest to his lofty point total. 1,321 points in 1,305 games. Yes. Very impressive. But the numbers are more a testiment to his durabilty and consistancy, rather than true greatness. He is the captain of one of hockey's most storied franchises, yet has never demenstrated any of the traits which go along with the title. Despite his career totals, his seasonly point output has been suspect. After an impressive 114 point season with the Nordiques, where he played alongside the likes of superstar Joe Sakic, Owen Nolan and Valeri Kamensky, he dipped to 85. Following a blockbuster trade, he went to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his 11 full seasons with The Blue & White, he has averaged a grand total of 78 points a season. 78? That's it? Yet he was given captaincy and called a superstar? Superstars produce. They don't complain about their linemates. Especially when they played with the likes of Alexander Mogilny, Wendel Clark, Dmitri Khristich, Sergei Berezin, Steve Thomas & Bryan Berard. The true hallmark of greatness is making the players around you better. Dale Hawerchuk, Denis Savard, Jaromir Jagr, Steve Yzerman, Peter Stastny & Sidney Crosby. These gentleman would easily have racked up 100+ point seasons playing with this stellar cast. The glaring difference from a star and a superstar. Sundin's leadership also must be examined. While with Toronto, Team Sweden is the only place where this trait was demenstrated. Mats is the captain. Captains usually lead by example. However he seldom does on a consistant basis. Mats doesn't buzz up and down the ice, creating scoring chances galore while putting his head down & backchecking like a demon. Does he? Instead of gazing into oblivion while on the bench, Sidney Crosby & Adam Oates would frequently commune with their fellow linemates. Motioning with their hands where to go and what to do. That's the dedication necessary in order to become great. Talent without devotion and hard work is meaningless. His leadership was equally inept in the playoffs. Sundin never strapped the Maple Leafs on his back and excelled. Though clearing not a superstar, The Blue & White paid him a premium salary. Often in the seven million dollar price range. Yet, when the Maple Leafs asked him to waive his no-trade clause. He would not. Sundin couldn't see himself playing for another team at that time. His devotion to the team. Even though he could always just resign in the summer. After receiving a facsimile award for "leadership", Sundin announced his intent to explore his opportunities. Where's the devotion Mats? The devotion that cost the Maple Leafs young, blue chip prospects? Would the great Darryl Sittler pull such high jinx? Would Borje Salming? The Toronto Maple Leafs are a great franchise. They invested a King's Ransom into Mats Sundin. They and their loyal fans deserved a better return. The dividends that Crosby, Hawerchuk, Jagr, Savard & Dionne deliver(ed)on a consistant basis. Is Mats Sundin overrated? I leave the answer to you, the reader.
Comments

Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2009 1:06 am
 

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

Before 07-08 season TSN ran a hockey preview. During the intro they ran action clips of Crosby, Ovechkin, and Sundin. I thought it was a joke. Mats Sundin was a solid hockey player but never belonged with the Superstars. His career best was 114 pts. in 92-93. In his Toronto years he reached 90 points (94 in 96-97) only once. He had a long, consistent career with few injuries which will translate  in to good total numbers. That doesn't put him in the same category as Crosby or Ovechkin. And it surely doesn't justify a 10 million dollar pro-rated contract for last year in Vancouver. He showed up in Vancouver so out of shape it took him a month to contribute. The question was - Is he overated ? The answer -big time.



Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: May 18, 2009 11:06 am
 

Whats so stellar

Especially when they played with the likes of Alexander Mogilny, Wendel Clark, Dmitri Khristich, Sergei Berezin, Steve Thomas & Bryan Berard. The true hallmark of greatness is making the players around you better

 
Anyone who reads this line and then does a little research, or if you followed hockey at the time that this is no stellar cast. It is a cast of aging players, past there primes, who were oft-injured, and couldn't produce. The only player to have a decent season in Toronto was Mogilny with 79 points one season. Meanwhile if you look at the rest of that "stellar casts" point totals before and after Toronto there were all increases coming, then decreases leaving. But I guess that had nothing to do while playing with Mats.

Sundin's leadership also must be examined. While with Toronto, Team Sweden is the only place where this trait was demenstrated

 
He has captained Team sweden several times, one time winning an Olympic gold medal. This while playing alongside other NHL captains and team leaders. There has to be a reason for this, considering you could have asked Forsberg, Lidstrom, Naslund, to captain a team. Enough said 

His leadership was equally inept in the playoffs. Sundin never strapped the Maple Leafs on his back and excelled

 
There have been two times where the leafs have managed to make it to the conference finals, in 1999 when Mats did carry the team on his back, and again in 2003 when again he would play through injury that post season.


Mats Sundin will end his career 25th all time on the points list, 20th all time in goals scored. He will also retire with most points as a Maple Leaf, most goals, and 2nd most playoff points as leaf as you mentioned one of the most storied franchises in hockey. If you look at the players that surrond him on any of those lists they are all clearly "superstars". Some people will hate him, some people love him, regardless he was a great, your arguement though is clearly flawed.



Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 11:48 pm
 

Too Funny

This is great, this line right here:

 They don't complain about their linemates. Especially when they played with the likes of Alexander Mogilny, Wendel Clark, Dmitri Khristich, Sergei Berezin, Steve Thomas & Bryan Berard. The true hallmark of greatness is making the players around you better. Dale Hawerchuk, Denis Savard, Jaromir Jagr, Steve Yzerman, Peter Stastny & . These gentleman would easily have racked up 100+ point seasons playing with this stellar cast. The glaring difference from a star and a superstar

You clearly just started watching hockey or don't watch hockey at all. Aside from Alexander Mogilny and Wendel Clark the players you mentioned  were utterly useless by the time they arrived in Toronto, I'm surprised you didn't mention Robert Reichel. I'm not a Leafs Fan or a Mats Sundin fan but you have absoloutely no idea what your talking about and you certainly didn't provide a good argument. I could honestly spend hours disecting your post because it's that poor - really bad examples, honestly. It's like you looked at the all-time points leader and just listed half a dozen players that were around 1300 to 1400 points (with the exception of Crosby). And then at the end you include Dionne as an example of a player who was able to achieve something that Sundin wasn't - do your research .

The fact is Mats Sundin is arguably the best player to ever play for the biggest hockey market in the world, so you probably hear more about Mats then you would if he was played in a smaller market. But comparing him to numerous NHLers that didn't play in the same era, or played a completely different type of game is pointless.    



Since: Oct 25, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2009 3:06 pm
 

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

The mere fact that he has been as consistant as he has been throughout his carreer is testament enough to his greatness.  I'm not comparing him to " the great one", Crosby, Ovechkin, Sakic or anyone else.  If you've been watching hockey longer than Crosby has been playing, you would also understand that the definition of "superstar" in terms of hockey, has changed through the years.  NHL rules and regs have changed in recent years to allow for more scoring...the reason hockey has gotten more popular in recent years..
For the record, I am not in any way a Leafs fan!  Go Flyers!




Since: May 2, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2009 12:09 pm
 

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

thats right




Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: May 14, 2009 1:39 pm
 

Agreed

I agree, given that you understand his playing style.  He was never billed as a blazer or two way player.  He is who he is, an above average NHL future Hall of Famer.  Great?  No way.  I would take Killer any day of the week.  That man was one of my favorite Leafs of all time.  I will never forgive Mats for what he pulled at the end of last year.  Until I hear a valid explanation as to why he didn't waive his no trade clause, in my eyes he will never be forgiven.  Granted, the guy did play hurt a few times for us during they playoffs, and showed some grit, but there is no way he showed any kind of leadership during his tenure. 




Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: May 13, 2009 11:38 pm
 

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

Thank you. For a while I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Sundin is consistant but no where near elite level-too many average, subpar, off-seasons.



Since: Apr 23, 2009
Posted on: May 11, 2009 4:02 pm
 

Mats Sundin-The NHL's Overrated Overlord

I 100 percent agree with this blog. Toronto is by far the biggest sports market in Canada and also the english media center. They glorify everything about the Maple Leafs and being from Canada I see the resentment that this has caused. Sundin was a good, not great player, whose skills are definitely declining. He is one of the highest paid players in the league and stands tied for about 30th in playoff scoring.



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