Swedish hockey star in Vancouver move

Swedish forward Mats Sundin ended a lengthy holdout on Thursday by deciding to leave the Toronto Maple Leafs to sign with the Vancouver Canucks, the National Hockey League club announced.

“I am truly excited to be joining the Canucks,” said Sundin.

“Once I made the decision to return to play a few weeks ago, the Vancouver opportunity was simply the best overall fit.

“I want to thank (general manager) Mike Gillis and the entire Canucks organization for their professionalism throughout this entire process.”

Sundin brings needed offence to Vancouver (18-11-3) who are tied with the Calgary Flames (18-11-3) atop the Northwest Division. The Canucks won a bidding war with the New York Rangers to get Sundin.

Sundin could join the team’s top line with fellow Swedish twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin, giving the Canucks one of the most talented trios in the league.

A nine-time all-star, Sundin spent the past 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs and became the leading scorer in the storied franchise’s history last campaign.

He notched 420 goals and 987 points during that span and spent 10 years as the team’s captain.

A two-time Olympian, the 37-year-old Sundin recorded a club-high 32 goals and 78 points in 2007-08.

Sundin, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, has collected 555 goals and 766 assists over his 17-year career with the Quebec Nordiques and Maple Leafs.