Setting the record straight – Sundin vs. Alfredsson

Over the last few years, I have heard many Leaf and non-Leaf fans criticize Mats Sundin as a captain of the Leafs. At the same time, I have debated with many people who felt that Alfredsson was a good or even GREAT captain for the Senators.

Breaking down the numbers and intangibles paints a pretty decisive picture of who is the better captain.


Regular 1156 games, 1167 points – (1.01)

Playoffs 83 games, 74 points – (.892)

Overtime Goals – 14 (NHL record)

Game Winning Goals – 68 (since Alfredsson has been in league)

Game Tieing Goals – 7 (since Alfredsson has been in league)


Regular 706 games, 671 points – (.950)

playoffs 79 games, 58 points – (.734)

Overtime Goals ?

Game Winning Goals 42

Game Tieing Goals – 7

Playoffs head to head as captains: Sundin 4, Alfredsson 0

Conference finals Sundin 2, Alfredsson 1


Mats Sundin is the ONLY player in the NHL to have at least 70 points in each of the last 13 full seasons!

Mats Sundin has played most of his career surrounded by what is, without question, the biggest media circus in hockey. He has never had a front line winger, excepting perhaps Mogilny, for a brief period of time, when Mogilny was well past his prime. He never played on a team that people (outside of rabid Leafs fans) seriously though had a shot at the cup. He has consistently behaved with class, with one very minor exception, a brain fart when he tossed his stick into the stands. In this environment, under constant scrutinty and criticism, without much to work with, his numbers, history, clutch play and demeanour are beyond reproach.

Alfredsson, has played on at least 2 teams that were favored to win the cup, possibly more; losing in disappointing fashion to the Leafs and now the Sabres. He has been surrounded by an all-star supporting cast including, at varous times, Spezza, Heatley, Hossa, Havlat, Bondra and Yashin (when he didn’t suck) and arguably the best D-duo in the league in Chara and Redden the last few years.

This year Alfredsson cleaned up his act. He cut the stupid hair and attempted to put show a more grown up demeanour and lead by example on the ice. I give him credit for that. There are a couple examples of VERY poor leadership in his past however. A guaranteed win? Showing up his friend, captain and countryman, in front of Sundin’s hometown fans, after the above stupid incident, by mocking a stick throw into the stands, after he had broken a stick when Ottawa had was pasting the Leafs 7-1… Who knows how much motivation that contributed to the Leafs beating the Senators AGAIN in the playoffs that year? There is a reason why most pro-athletes pay RESPECT to their opponents and don’t give them more motivation than necessary. My favorite (least) of Alfredsson’s moments came when the Senators lost a Game-6 to the Leafs in the playoffs and Alfredsson blamed the loss, and the series, on Domi “diving” and cutting his head open on purpose?! Later on he blamed it on the fact that Domi can’t skate and that is why the check from behind cut him… he conveniently forgot that the game prior the Sens scored on a 5-minute major when a Sens player cut himself open on a similar hit?!

So, someone, PLEASE tell me why I have heard from so many people here about how great of a captain Alfredsson is and yet I have also heard from both Leafs and non-Leafs fans how much of a miserable failure as a captain Sundin is?

There is not ONE stat, or intangible arguement that favors Alfredsson. He has not performed as well, or led as well, with a much more friendly environment and a better supporting cast his entire career.

Mats Sundin deserved FAR better that he has received over the years from the Leafs fans and media. My only hope at this point is that he is traded or he finishes his career elsewhere with a team that has a chance to win a cup!

177 Responses to Setting the record straight – Sundin vs. Alfredsson

  1. dre2k5 says:

    the only non canadian captain to win a cup was derian hatcher with the ’99 stars. I am an American and not particularly bullish on putting nationalities into play when discussing things like this, just an observation. I thikn a lot of it has to do with the majority of the NHL being Canadian, as someone mentioned above. Just for the fun of it, look at how many Conn Smyth winners and cup winning goalies have been non Canadian… not too many. Since 1990:

    MVPs: ’94 Brian Leetch (USA)

    ’02 Nik Lidstrom (Sweden)

    Cup winning goalies:

    ’91 Tom Barasso (USA)

    ’94 Mike Richter (USA)

    ’02 Dominic Hasek (Czech)

    ’04 Nik Khabibulin (Russia)

  2. nordiques100 says:

    why do you have to attack people personally? if you cannot take good natured fun then leave.

    it is too bad you do not find my many contributions to be not worthwhile. i try my best to provide something interesting and informative. but all people like you do is simply slam it and make rude comments attacking people who try very hard to make this site worthwhile. everyone else appreciates the work i do. it is too bad you cannot appreciate hockey talk. it is too bad you are so full of yourself. you sir need to get a life. you do nothing but make a fool of yourself. you seriously need some help.

    if i offended you i apologize. but i can only assume you would never return the favor to me. that is the kind of person you are i guess.

    well it is your loss that you cannot appreciate my efforts. you can joke all you want, but when you say stuff like that i know nothing about hockey and i dont contribute anything worthwhile it is very offensive.

    i guess all i can do is expect you to not be man enough to own up to your poor behavior.

  3. JannettyTheRocker says:

    If YOU LOOK BACK at some of my previous comments over the months that I have been on this site. I have complimented you many times on your articles. I’ve never thought poorly of you in my entire time on here, until you started crapping on me. The problem with people like you (and 92-93) is that you’re so focused on keeping the “integrity” of this site, and you don’t know how to have fun…………The both of you keep insulting me because I “don’t talk about hockey, I only flame”, which is a LOAD OF CRAP!!!! If you actually read through my past posts over the last number of months, all I was doing was talking hockey. And yes, I always put “GO OILERS GO” or something to the liking in my posts, because I love my Oilers and I’m not afraid to show it. Is it really a big frickin deal that I do this……I don’t think so. If you guys have a problem with it, then don’t read my posts.

    And one last point. I don’t cheer for more then one team. The Oiler’s are my team for life………But I have respect for the Ottawa Senators as I like how they’ve built their team over the years. I cheer for them to win in the East, but they are not my team.

    I apologize if I have insulted you as well. I agree that you are one of the few who puts a lot of work into keeping this site going, and I quite enjoy your articles. So keep them up.

    I am just tired of reading posts from people like you and 92-93 posting crap about me. It’s getting tiring. I’m not gonna stop posting how I have about my Oilers, so you guys can either keep *****ing about it or you can chill and take it for what it is. Fun!!!

  4. my_sphincter says:

    Hell, I think that Sundin is great. But then again, so is Alfredsson. I would love to have either on my team.

  5. Aetherial says:

    As would I, for sure.

    I keep hearing grumblings of Ottawa trading him. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. At his price, and his talent level… the idea is absurd. He is probably the biggest bargain in the NHL right now.

    There is not one team that would not LOVE to have him on their team.

  6. Aetherial says:

    How about you present the counter-arguement then.

    Since you feel I am a biased leaf fan… then there must be another arguement(s) that I am missing or ignoring.

    If not, then please feel free to STFU until you can actually choose an issue yourself, do a little research, write something coherent and contribute to this site.

    I’ll be waiting for your startling revelations.

  7. jpmac says:

    I hate both the leafs and the Sens but to say that the sens lose evey year and their fans are reminded about is why you feel sorry for them. then I feel really sorry for you….1967 ring a bell….the leafs are on a longer losing streak then the sens

  8. my_sphincter says:

    There have been only 14 (that I can think of–Yashin is listed twice) European/Russian (or Non-North Americans if you will) captains in the HISTORY of the NHL.

    1.Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Winnipeg, 1979-80 (1975-80 including WHA)

    2.Thomas Steen, Winnipeg, 1988-91 (co-captain)

    3.Alexander Mogilny, Buffalo, 1993-94

    4.Mats Sundin, Toronto, 1997-present

    5.Jaromir Jagr, Pittsburgh, 1998-01

    6.Alexei Yashin, Ottawa, 1998-99

    7.Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa, 1999-Present

    8.Saku Koivu, Montreal, 1999-Present

    9.Kenny Jonsson, Islanders, 1999-01

    10.Markus Naslund, Vancouver, 2000-Present

    11.Mattias Norstrom, Los Angeles, 2001-Present

    12.Teppo Numminen, Phoenix, 2001-03

    13.Pavel Bure, Florida, 2001-02 (co-captain)

    14.Olli Jokinen, Florida, 2003-Present

    15.Alexei Yashin, Islanders, 2005-Present

    Perhaps this is why no european has captained their team to the cup. You have to remember a few things here…

  9. The NHL is made up primarily of North Americans. It is only in recent years that we are seeing more Europeans and Russians in the league.
  10. Many non-North Americans have a language barrier that Canadians and Americans do not have to overcome. It is difficult to give the ‘C’ to someone who has difficulty communicating.
  11. Most of the teams that have been captained by Europeans or Russians have not been in contention for the cup. This is certainly not due to the Captains being European.

    bleed_penguins… you really need a reality check. There are GREAT leaders in the NHL and Nationality has NOTHING to do with it.

  • LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    You should have your account banned, how it hasn’t happened as of yet is a mystery to me and I think a lot of people on this site.

  • LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    With a mouth like yours I would imagine you don’t many friends yourself.

  • gg_idiot says:

    Cheering for the Senators in general shouts either “bangwagon” or “idiot”. Perhaps you’ve learned to fuse the two. You give Oilers fans a bad name.

    Go Oilers Go.

  • JannettyTheRocker says:

    Banned??? For what???

    For having my own opinions??? For bashing people who bash me??? For hating the Toronto Maple Laughs???

    Whatever, get bent!!!

  • JannettyTheRocker says:

    I cheer for teams I like, the Oilers and the Sens. Two great Canadian franchises who are the best in the business………..Is your problem that I won’t cheer for the Toronto Maple Laughs???? Why would I??? They can’t even make the playoffs. But I’m sure they can make their tee time.

    GO OILERS GO!!!!

  • JannettyTheRocker says:

    Oh my lord……………is that you 92-93??? You’ve started another persona???? Wasn’t Clarkmour enough???? Now it’s LeafsLeafsLeafs??? Couldn’t you be a little less obvious. Just pathetic!!!

  • habs_punk says:

    Why? Why even write this article? This is the single most pointless article I have ever read on this site. A Leafs fan giving an incredibly biased opinion article on why the captain of the Leafs is better than the captain of the Sens. Who gives a damn which player is the better captain. First off, points don’t mean a thing when it comes to captaincy. Quite frequently a team’s leading scorer is the captain of the team, but in many cases it has absolutely nothing to do with it. Alfredsson had more points than Scott Stevens, does that automatically mean Alfredsson was a better captain than Stevens? It’s based purely on intangibles, and you can’t give an unbiased opinion on intangibles. The only reason this article was written was to cut down Alfredsson and set Sundin up on a pedestal.

    boring, boring, boring, boring, boring

  • LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    not 92-93…….

  • LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    “get bent” was a popular phrase in the 80’s and early 90’s, welcome to 2006, Beavis and Butthead are no longer televised.

  • LeafsLeafsLeafs says:

    just like muckies wrote one when the leafs were officially eliminared from playoff contention, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • salemnic says:

    Hmmm.. Never noticed 4 of the 6 Canadian teams are captained by Europeans (TOR, OTT, MTL, VAN) since at least 2000


  • Radio says:

    but what’s good for the gander is good for the chipmunks…which in turn is good for hippies, and the mole-rat people from the middle of the earth.

    Them and also Tie Domi.

  • 92-93 says:


    we actually agree on something …

    (pig flies by).

  • 92-93 says:



    well, at least your provide comic relief to HTR Jannetty, even if it is always at your own expense.

    I guess you dont check the Leaf Rumors page because i see clarkmour post some responses to some of my posts there.

    i am sure he is quite amused about your conspiracy theory.

  • 92-93 says:

    congrats to the oilers.

    they’ve accomplished something the leafs have done 4 times since the Oilers last made it to the final-4.

    maybe this is the start of something good for Oiler fans and now their team will be competitive virtually every year … including the playoffs.


    i can see the respect you generate on HTR Jannetty … oh no, no one disagrees with you at all and no one finds your posts immature and pathetic (lol – maybe that is why Gretzkin seems to have stopped responding to your posts, because he’s embarassed to be associated with you on HTR).

  • leafs_suck_sens_rule says:

    As long as you hate Toronto, I don’t care.

  • leafs_suck_sens_rule says:

    the simpsons are (bart)

  • leafs_suck_sens_rule says:

    the leafs have made it to the final 4 once since 1990 (oilers cup) in 2002 and lost

  • big_booty says:

    “Roberts played with Sundin for one year, wanna list the guys who became 20-30 goal scorers because of Sundin? Renberg, Hoglund, Berezin, Ponikarovsky, the list goes on.”

    Yeah, Ol’ Stats made those guys great players just by letting them skate in his presence.

    So great, as a matter of fact, that most of them aren’t even in the league anymore.

  • Leave a Reply