Reaction roundup: Toronto Maple Leafs legend Mats Sundin is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

Reaction roundup: Toronto Maple Leafs legend Mats Sundin is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame

(Image: Håkan Dahlström) 

In his first year of eligibility, the beloved former captain of the Maple Leafs received the nod to join hockey’s most venerable ranks. Part of an inductee class of true talents, Mats Sundin enters the Hall of Fame alongside Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure. Though his induction is somewhat overshadowed by the pedigree of his peers, Sundin’s career and the impression he left upon city he loved were both remarkable. For our part, we offer heartfelt congratulations to the big centre. Here’s what the rest of the Toronto sports media corps—and others—had to say.

• The Toronto Star dubbed this year’s Hall of Fame class the Fabulous Foursome, which, with Pride around the corner, makes us think of something else entirely. Frankly, we thought the coverage from the city’s paper of record would be more copious—and more fawning—given Sundin’s exalted status in this hockey-mad town. Enter Rosie DiManno.

• Oh, Rosie. The veteran Star columnist penned many, many breathless stories about Sundin during his days in the blue and white; in comparison, this offering is relatively restrained. Still, DiManno manages to dub Sundin not only a Hall inductee, but also a Hall of Fame “luminary.” Of course, she also notes he was a man of class and “endlessly, a gentleman.” With that we absolutely agree.

Long-time Toronto Sun columnist Lance Hornby offered a surprisingly objective look at the 2012 inductee class, listing their accomplishments and letting Sundin’s reaction speak for itself. No. 13 told reporters he felt “absolutely fantastic” and that playing in Toronto was “the best part of my life.” Bless.

• Yahoo Sports hockey blog Puck Daddy ran a story with a headline “Mats Sundin honored by Hall of Fame, bleeds Toronto Maple Leafs blue.” And no doubt, the big guy sure can make a city blush. An ardent Leafs fan in retirement, Sundin offered fellow fans a few magical words: “There are no fans in the league, or in the sports world, who deserve a championship as much the Toronto fans do for their support over the years.”

Ken Campbell at The Hockey News raised an interesting question, which has been echoed by a number of commentators: did Sundin deserve to be picked over Brendan Shanahn? Campbell answers his own query by calling the Hall of Fame committee’s decision “mind-boggling,” before postulating that their poor decision-making is the product of a bias toward anyone who spent the bulk of their career playing for the Maple Leafs. Sigh.

• Hockey Hall of Fame: Fabulous foursome of Mats Sundin, Adam Oates, Pavel Bure and Joe Sakic [Toronto Star]
Maple Leafs great Mats Sundin elected to hockey hall of fame [Toronto Star]
DiManno: Mats Sundin ‘honoured and humbled’ by Hall of Fame election [Toronto Star]
Standing tall in the Hall [Toronto Sun]
• Hall of Fame snubs get tongues wagging [Toronto Sun]
Mats Sundin honored by Hall of Fame, bleeds Toronto Maple Leafs blue [Yahoo]
Choosing Mats Sundin over Brendan Shanahan makes little sense [The Hockey News]