Thursday, February 9, 2012
Mats Sundin Week continues here at Third String Goalie as the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to honor former captain Mats Sundin by adding his jersey #13 to the ranks of the numbers honored by the franchise this Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs are unique in their policy of honoring a player's number, but allow those honored numbers to again be worn by future players, reserving outright number retirement for those whose careers end due to misfortune while a member of the Maple Leafs following an outstanding career while playing for Toronto.
In the 2002-03 season, Sundin continued his trademark durability and reliability, as he played in 75 of the Maple Leafs 82 games, keeping intact his streak of at least 73 games played every season of his NHL career, save the strike shortened 1994-95 season when he played in 47 games of the 48 game schedule.
Offensively, Sundin scored 41 goals, which tied him for the second highest of his career and his most in five seasons. He also added 39 assists for 80 total points, which would prove to be the 6th highest of his career. More significantly, Sundin became the first Swedish player in NHL history to reach 1,000 career points with a goal in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on March 10, 2003 and followed that two weeks later by playing in his 1,000th career game, also a first for a Swede.
After having his streak of consecutive seasons leading Toronto in points when Alexander Mogilny topped Sundin 79 points to 72, he began a new streak by leading the Maple Leafs in points after scoring 31 goals and 44 assists for 75 points. Additionally, Sundin guided the Maple Leafs into the postseason for the sixth consecutive season. His 75 points marked the 12th consecutive full season of over 70 points for the Maple Leafs captain.
Today's featured jersey is a 2000-01 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin jersey from the first occasion he wore the Hockey Fights Cancer patch, worn by each NHL team's captain for one game in January, and then auctioned off to raise money for charity as part of the NHL All-Star Game weekend festivities.
The program began in 2001 and continued to 2004, returning for one season in 2008, the tenth anniversary of the program.
This was the Maple Leafs home jersey in 2000-01 and the only time Sundin would wear the patch on this style jersey.
This was also the first season of the Maple Leafs new font for their numbers, now executed in three colors with the introduction of the silver trim, the first time since 1947-48 that a third color had appeared on a Maple Leafs jersey, as their sweaters in the mid-1940's had the team name printed in red inside the white leaf crest on their blue home sweaters of the day.
Bonus Jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 2002-03 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin jersey. While Sundin wore the Maple Leafs white home jersey with the Hockey Fights Cancer patch for the first season of the captain's jersey program in 2001, he subsequently wore the team's throwback third jersey style in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Extra Bonus Jersey: Today's extra bonus jersey is a 2007-08 Toronto Maple Leafs Mats Sundin jersey. The 2007-08 season saw the introduction of the Reebok Edge jerseys, which resulted in the suspension of the third jersey program for one year, resulting in Sundin wearing the Maple Leafs white jersey, which was now the style worn on the road by all NHL clubs since the 2003-04 season.
The new Reebok Edge jerseys were originally intended by Reebok to be worn tucked in, which explains the resulting in the lack of waist stripes. With plans for the jerseys to be tucked in quickly scrapped, the missing stripes were restored to the Maple Leafs jerseys three seasons later in 2010-11 when an effective redesign of their jerseys restored a classic retro look, which included such elements as a lace-up collar, the return of the retro styled leaf as a secondary shoulder logo, the dropping of the modern font for the player names in favor of a simple block font and one color numbers rather than the three color numbers used since 2000-01.
For the 10th Anniversary of the Hockey Fights Cancer program, the logo and jersey patches were no longer the previous NHL logo colors of black and orange, but now the silver and black of the new league logo, which debuted in 2005-06 when the NHL resumed play following the season missed due to the lockout.
Today's video selection is Sundin's 1,000th NHL point, scored with a goal in a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on March 30, 2003.