Canucks Watch: 13 facts about No. 13

Author:
Publish date:

With big No. 13 making his Vancouver debut Wednesday, Canucks Nation is probably besieged today with tales of all things Mats. And it’s pretty tough to compete with all those perspectives, especially from my chair a couple thousand miles away.

However, given Sundin spent the past 13 seasons here in Toronto, here are 13 ways that No. 13 will contribute to the Canucks in the second half:

1. Action, not words

Sundin was a standup captain for a decade in Toronto and always led with his play on the ice.

2. Team player

For all of his all-world skill, Sundin always put the plight of the Leafs above his personal goals.

3. Stanley Cup void

The fact Sundin has never made it to the Cup final means the Canucks get an aging superstar with just one thing lacking on his resume.

4. Still hungry

The fact he came back at all means he still wants to play at the highest level.

5. Still skilled

Sundin’s past couple seasons in Toronto confirmed that, despite his advancing age, he still has the chops to play with the best.

6. Complete, consistent

Once he gets his legs, Canucks fans can count on a solid effort every night.

7. Ego-free

Well, no pro athlete is without an ego, but Sundin checks his at the door. There’s not going to be any Pavel Bure-like off-ice drama with Mats.

8. Team Sweden

The Swedish star liked the fact that countrymen Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Mattias Ohlund and Alexander Edler play key minutes.

9. Versatile

He can play shorthanded, power play and even strength. Plus, he skated with a variety of linemates in Toronto.

10. Well rested

Taking the first half of the season off will do that for a guy.

11. Clutch scorer

Sundin scores goals at the same clip in the playoffs, when tallies are harder to come by, as in the regular season. And he holds a share of the all-time regular season OT goal-scoring record with 15 (Patrik Elias, Jaromir Jagr).

12. Faceoff artist

Sundin has won more than 55 per cent of faceoffs over his career; anything over 50 per cent is pretty good. (Rod Brind’Amour, traditionally the NHL’s best faceoff man, has a career mark of about 58 per cent.)

13. No. 1 hope

Since 1989 — Sundin’s draft year — through 2007, only one No. 1 overall pick has won the Stanley Cup (Vincent Lecavalier, the top pick in 1998, won the Cup with Tampa in 2004.) Join the exclusive club, Mats.

This column also appears in the Vancouver Metro newspaper.

Sam McCaig’s From The Point column appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Have a point to make with Sam McCaig? You can reach him at smccaig@thehockeynews.com.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

TOP HEADLINES

USATSI_13754514
Play

Get Ready for the Dallas Stars' Defensive Invasion

With the start of the NHL’s 2021 unrestricted free agent period now in the rear-view mirror, it’s as good a time as any to take stock of the league’s power broker teams. And it's time to look like the Dallas Stars as a true contender again, writes Adam Proteau.

Hlinka-Gretzky Cup Logo
Play

Hlinka-Gretzky Cup Roundup: Russia, Slovakia Win Groups

The final four teams that will battle for medals are known, with Russia winning Group A and Slovakia coming out with a stunner to win Group B over Sweden.

USATSI_16014522
Play

Best of the Rest: Top Remaining Unrestricted Free Agents of 2021

Most big fish have left the free-agent pond, but some impactful UFAs remain. Who are the best 10? And when will the Islanders make their moves?