Mats Sundin’s incredible gesture to his teammates, this is what really happened after his legendary return to Toronto

Mats Sundin spent thirteen seasons as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For eleven of those seasons, he served as the Leafs’ captain, and to this day, he’s one of the greatest ever in Toronto.

Mats Sundin’s No. 13 is in the rafters, and it didn’t matter things ended on a bad note between him and the organization.

At the end of the 2007-08 season, Toronto wanted Sundin to waive his No-Trade Clause to allow the Leafs to acquire something in return for him. Sundin’s contract was expiring, and they didn’t want him to leave for nothing, but Sundin remained with the club, and his 78 points marked the fourth consecutive year and 12 of 13 years as the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer.

Earlier that season, Sundin became the first player to score 400 goals as a Leaf, and he also broke Babe Dye’s 83-year-old franchise record of a home game point streak to 15 games.

Despite being in his mid-30s, Mats Sundin was perhaps the hottest player in the NHL.

When his contract eventually expired with Toronto, several teams offered him lucrative contracts that would’ve made him the highest-paid player in the NHL.

Sundin ended up signing with the Vancouver Canucks, but not before decreasing his contract to give the Canucks added salary cap space in an attempt to make a push for the Stanley Cup.

TORONTO – FEBRUARY 21: Mats Sundin #13 of the Vancouver Canucks speaks with reporters following the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on February 21, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Sundin made his Canucks debut on January 7, 2009, and just about a month later, he returned to Toronto to play his first game against the Maple Leafs. The arena was packed, and it was an emotional moment as Sundin received the love and respect he so much deserved.

And you couldn’t have written the outcome of the game better. In one of the most classic scenes ever in the NHL, Sundin scored the shootout game-winning goal. But what happened before and after?

Source: Youtube

On an episode of his podcast Missin Curfew, then-teammate Shane O’Brien revealed some hilarious details about the very special game.

”We go back to Toronto, and it’s a legendary Mats Sundin move,” O’Brien said. ”We land, we go on the bus, we’re supposed to be going down to our hotel. Mats gets the bus to go to Yorkville, drops him off at his house. So we come back to the hotel and it’s 50 media people, and they can’t wait for Mats.

”So I’m like, ’I’m gonna wait to be the last one off the bus.’ Everyone gets off the bus, and they’re thinking, here comes Mats Sundin. And I just come off the bus and I’m like, ’How you doing fellas? You guys want to talk?’ They’re like, ’Where’s Sundin?’ And I said, ’Yeah, he’s not on that f—king bus!’

Source: Youtube

Then the legendary shootout winner happened, but the Canucks’ night wasn’t over. Not by a long shot.

”We beat them, we go out that night. We go to Music, and he gives me his credit card. He says, ’Obie, do your thing, take care of the rest.’ And did we have a f—king night!”

The Canucks partied as they deserved, but the following day, Mats Sundin wasn’t as excited.

”I’ll never forget how hungover Mats was the next day on the plane. He had the things over his eyes, and the blanket up to his face, and he was just done.”

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