A hero returns to Air Canada Centre

It’s story telling again, cause this is one amazing story to be told. Yesterday marked another day in history for Swedish NHL player Mats “Sudden” Sundin as he returned to his old home Air Canada Centre, the home of Toronto Maple Leafs. Sundin spent 13 years in Toronto, the majority of them as captain and the sole foundation of the team – before signing for Vancouver Canucks this season. Most talks before the game regarded whether the home fans would embrace Sundin, or actually boo him because of the move. He got off to a frosty start, it seemed the hardcore fans of Toronto had not forgotten his decision to move and he was given a tough time at the warm up and introduction. However, in the first commercial break, Sundin finally got his standing ovation and gratitude that he deserved. Fighting back tears, Sundin was actually the one breaking it all off by telling the linesmen to “drop the puck, I can’t take it anymore”. It could have lasted forever.

As this wasn’t enough, the game was tied at 2-2 and the OT didn’t decide things – we were going into a shootout. With the shootout quickly approaching, Canucks announced that Sundin would be taking the 3rd and final penalty against his old team. Of course, it was a fairytale ending, with Sundin hitting home a ‘patent’-backhand move against Vesa Toskala in the Toronto goal to win the game for Vancover. Check out the shootout, 3rd star ovation (he got one of those as well), and post-game interview below.

“A class act, for a class act”.

I can highly recommend ESPN360 for those of you who weren’t able to see the game because of your provider. It’s a fantastic service, one I’ll gladly pay for.

Swedish stories: Mats Sundins tårar i natt (AB), Sundin Hyllad (DN), Sundin hyllades och avgjorde i återkomsten (HockeyExpressen).

Also check out other blogs about Mats Sundin (via Twingly) or other Swedish blogs about Mats Sundin (via Knuff).