Tag: Mats Sundin

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men

Sundin says he was ‘almost disgusted’ by Russia’s performance in Olympics


Former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin won a gold medal with Team Sweden in 2006, so he knows a bit about what it takes to win on the international stage.

That’s why when Sundin sounded off to TSN Radio in Toronto about the performance of Russia, it’s worth at least paying attention to.

“I was almost disgusted by their performance when they played Finland,” said the 43-year-old who played 18 seasons in the NHL. “I look at the Finnish team and they’re missing key players. They don’t have any of their big stars and now [Rask] is hurt and that Russian team is stacked with great players and to come out and have that performance they had in the quarterfinals. It was an absolutely heartless performance.”

Sundin went on to question the Russians desire further saying if the presence of Russian president Vladimir Putin couldn’t inspire them, he didn’t know what else could do it.

As Sundin mentions, Finland had a host of key players missing including Mikko Koivu, Valtteri Filppula, and Aleksander Barkov. Russia’s key players like Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin had less-than stellar performances in the Olympics but for the most part their offense didn’t do enough to help them win on the whole.

Still, when retired players are coming out of the woodwork to pile on, it’s a sign things in Russia need to change if they’re going to win a medal in 2018.

Swedish national team hires Sundin

Sundin Sweden

Even though he’s retired, Mats Sundin will be plenty busy this season.

The all-time leading scorer in Maple Leafs history — and 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee — has been named as an adviser for the Swedish Ice Hockey Association, according to a report from Swehockey.se.

Sundin will serve alongside the Tre Kronor braintrust — GM Tommy Boustedt, head coach Par Marts and assistants Roger Ronnberg and Peter Popovic — in what promises to be a big year for Team Sweden.

The 2013 World Hockey Championships will be hosted in Stockholm (along with Helsinki) and the Swedes will be looking to make amends for last year’s disastrous finish — they were knocked out in the quarterfinal stage and finished in sixth place.

It marked the first time in four years the Swedes didn’t medal at the tournament.

Looking further ahead, the hire could be a precursor to Sundin playing a big role in Team Sweden’s entry at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Sundin was a key member of  the gold medal-winning side at the 2006 games in Turin, arguably the biggest victory in Swedish hockey history.

What they’re saying about the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame class

Pavel Bure

Earlier today, the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame class was announced, with Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure earning the honor.

Names that failed to make the cut include first-time eligible players (Brendan Shanahan, Claude Lemieux, Jeremy Roenick, Curtis Joseph) and those denied multiple times (Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley, Eric Lindros, Alex Mogilny.)

Needless to say, it was a tough decision — here’s what the hockey world is saying about the four inductees.

Joe Sakic

“Joe’s numbers and records place him among the best of all time and we can’t fully express what he meant to this franchise and our community. He was a complete professional and we are all grateful to have watched him for so many years. Congratulations to you, Joe, on a Hall of Fame career, you truly deserve it.” — Colorado Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix

Adam Oates

“He has the most elite hockey mind I’ve ever come across. Talking to him about the game or watching him play was a real special thing. When you’re able to play with guys like Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, Mike Modano, Martin St. Louis and Oatsey, those are some great players…. And even though it was toward the end of his career when I played with him, I always thought Oatsey’s mind for the game and knowledge of the game was unlike anyone else’s.” — Jeff Halpern, former Capitals teammate

Pavel Bure

“If you look back at his career, he was a very consistent scorer, an electrifying player, he made highlights every time he stepped on the ice. He’s one of those players whose style represented what Russian hockey was all about. He played a game that was fun to play. He was unbelievable in the way he played. He brought fans out of their seats.” — Igor Larionov, Hockey Hall of Famer.

Mats Sundin

“He became a tremendous hockey player. Every time you played Toronto, you circled one guy. Mats was just a force.” — Fellow 2012 HHOF inductee Joe Sakic

Kings great Marcel Dionne says Anze Kopitar “needs a wake-up call”

Columbus Blue Jackets v Los Angeles Kings

As one of the leading scorers in NHL history, former Los Angeles Kings great Marcel Dionne knows a thing or two about creating offense. Apparently Dionne isn’t shy about critiquing the current Kings’ best source of production, either.

Mayors Manor caught up with Dionne, who compared Anze Kopitar to Mats Sundin – and not in a good way – but hopes to see an Evgeni-Malkin-without-Sidney-Crosby transition.

“I think Kopitar’s at the point in his career where he has to decide what he wants to do,” Dionne said. “Does he want to be the guy? He should be looking at the situation and what’s going with (Evgeni) Malkin. When (Sidney) Crosby was playing, Malkin was happy to be second fiddle. Then, when Crosby went out, Malkin took over.”

“[Kopitar] reminds me a little bit of Mats Sundin. They’re big guys, but when they get close to the net, they’re not aggressive enough. I still have confidence in him. But, sometimes, management [is] too nice to stars. He needs a wake-up call.”

Kopitar leads the Kings in goals (18), assists (36) and points (54) this season, but that still might be a disappointing output for some. Do you think Dionne has a point about Kopitar’s supposed lack of assertiveness or does it really come down to a lack of support from the players around him?

Either way, Kopitar will get his next chance to heed that “wake-up call” against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

(H/T to Jewels from the Crown by way of Kukla’s Korner.)

Watch Mats Sundin’s banner rise


Mats Sundin final months as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs were a trying time for him and the organization, but Leafs fans made it clear during his tribute before Saturday’s game that they appreciate everything he’s done for the franchise. Sundin had to pause several times during speech to allow the applause to quiet. The crowd got particularly loud as his banner was slowly raised. To view the entire event, check out the video below.

If the Air Canada Centre’s reaction on Saturday is any indication, he will be remembered fondly by a generation of Leafs fans in the same way that previous generations might look back on other Toronto greats like Darryl Sittler or George Armstrong.