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Maple Leafs to honour franchise leader Mats Sundin with statue on Legends Row

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

TORONTO - Mats Sundin idolized Borje Salming growing up. Soon he will be bronzed next to his hero on the Toronto Maple Leafs' Legends Row.

Sundin, the franchise leader with 420 goals and 987 points, will be the latest Leafs star to be immortalized as part of the monument outside Air Canada Centre when his statue is unveiled during the team's fan fest Saturday.

"To be honoured with a statue on Legends Row is something I could never have imagined," Sundin said in a statement. "To see my statue unveiled alongside Borje Salming, the player I grew up idolizing in Sweden, will be very special for both my family and me."

The Sundin and Salming statues join those of Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler and Johnny Bower, with likenesses of Syl Apps and George Armstrong coming in November.

Sundin spent 13 seasons in Toronto, including 11 as captain, and was the face of the franchise. In 2012 he made the Hockey Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, becoming the second Swede inducted after Salming.

He's the most modern-day Leafs player to join Legends Row.

"Legends Row is an important tribute to the many generations of Toronto Maple Leafs history, and Mats Sundin is a player that the most recent generations of Leafs fans remember with great fondness," team president Brendan Shanahan said.

Shanahan announced the honour at a question-and-answer session with season-ticket holders Thursday night.

Sundin played 981 regular-season games with the Leafs and is second in franchise history with 567 assists. He led the team to two Eastern Conference final appearances and had 70 points in 77 playoff games.

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