Mats Sundin is the greatest player in Toronto Maple Leafs history, according to sportsnet.ca readers.
The former captain earned the most first-place votes in a ranking poll of the top 30 players in franchise history – a list compiled by a panel of experts for a special edition of Sportsnet magazine, The Greatest Leafs of All Time.
Sundin led the online poll with 21 per cent of the total votes, edging out Leafs legends Daryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Doug Gilmour and Dave Keon.
To see how your list compares to that of the panel — which included Scott Morrison, Frank Orr, Gare Joyce, Damien Cox, Jeff Marek, Gord Stellick, Jim Gregory, Ernie Fitzsimmons and Jim Kernaghan — pick up a copy of the magazine on newsstands now.
Sundin, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this month, is the all-time Leafs leader in points, goals, power play goals, shorthanded goals and game-winning goals.
In 13 seasons with Toronto, Sundin led the Leafs to the conference final on two occasions but was never able to bring home a Stanley Cup. He was the team’s captain for 10 seasons.
Coming in at No. 2 on our ranking poll was Sittler, who finished with 15 per cent of the sportsnet.ca votes. Sittler still holds the all-time NHL record for most points in a single game (10 points vs. the Boston Bruins in 1976), which he set as a member of the Maple Leafs.
In the No. 3 spot, Gilmour finished with 11 per cent of the total votes. While Gimour’s tenure in Toronto wasn’t as long as some of the other players on the list, his impact was just as memorable for Leafs fans.
Many believe Gilmour had the most impressive stint of any Maple Leafs player. From 1992-94, Gilmour was amongst the top players in the NHL, finishing as a runner-up for the Hart Trophy with 129 points in the 1992-93 season. He brought the team within one game of the Stanley Cup final, losing out to Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings.
Following Gilmour on the final ranking list was Bower and Keon, who were part of the classic Maple Leafs teams in the 1960s. Bower won four Stanley Cups with Toronto (1962, 1963, 1964, 1967) as the goaltender for a dominant era in Leafs history. He was a two-time Vezina winner, one-time all-star and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976.
Keon was also a member of all four of those Stanley Cup-winning squads, which included a Conn Smythe trophy in the Leafs last championship in 1967. The eight-time all-star won a Calder Trophy (1961) and two Lady Byng awards.
Others who received a significant number of votes included Clark, Borje Salming, Frank Mahovlich, Tim Horton, and George Armstrong.