Mats Sundin: ‘I’m retiring from pro hockey’

Swedish hockey great Mats Sundin announced his retirement from professional ice hockey at a hastily announced press conference in Stockholm on Wednesday.

Mats Sundin: 'I'm retiring from pro hockey'

“It feels good, it comes from the heart,” Sundin told reporters.

“I’ve had a long carrier and have played since I was a child. It’s hard to summarize everything but it’s been a great journey…I couldn’t have had a better life than the one I’ve had.”

Sundin was composed and in good spirits as he told the Swedish press that his 18-year-career in the National Hockey League (NHL) was over.

He cited physical fatigue as one of the reasons for his decision.

“I’ve begun to feel that it’s quite nice to sit on the sidelines and not play a match every day, and that’s why I feel this is the right decision. My body isn’t up to the every day wear-and-tear of the NHL anymore,” he said.

Sundin made his professional debut in Sweden in 1988 with Nacka HK, before moving to Djurgården of Sweden’s elite league for the 1989-90 season, and then on to the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques in 1991.

The sharp-shooting Swede went on to have one of the most successful NHL careers of any Swedish hockey player in history.

In 2006, he became the first Swede to notch 500 career goals.

Despite his stellar career, most of which was spent with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Sundin never managed to win a Stanley Cup championship.

“A Stanley Cup ring would’ve been nice to have but in all honesty I’ve experienced and won so much since I landed in Quebec as a 19-year-old. It feels like I’ve experienced so much more than I could ever have imagined,” he said.

“I really got to fulfill all my childhood dreams.”

A nine-time all-star, Sundin spent 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs, tallying 420

goals and 567 assists to become the leading scorer in the storied franchise’s history-

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

He became free agent following the 2007-2008 season, and finally signed with the Vancouver Canucks on December 18th for what turned out to be his last season in the NHL.

Sundin also shined for Sweden’s national team, helping Tre Kronor capture a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

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It’s official: Sweden’s Lundqvist is the NHL’s best goalie

Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist made 12 straight saves to win the goaltender competition at the NHL all-star game's skill night.

It's official: Sweden's Lundqvist is the NHL's best goalie
Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers celebrates winning the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak during the 2019 SAP NHL All-Star Skills contest on Friday in San Jose, California. Photo: Thearon W. Hender
The New York Rangers goalie knocked off Russian Olympian Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who held the lead through several rounds after stopping the first eight shots he faced. 
The skill contests held on Friday night in San Jose, California also saw Edmonton Oilers speedster Connor McDavid win his third straight fastest skater title in a competition that included a female participant for the first time.
Canada's McDavid charged around the rink in just 13.37 seconds to eclipse Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel, who finished in 13.58 seconds at the SAP Center arena.
Kendall Coyne, who plays on the American women's national team, was invited to take part and finished seventh out of eight skaters, beating out Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller. Coyne cruised to a time of 14.34 seconds while Keller, who has 11 goals and 35 points with the Coyotes this season, finished in 14.52. 
“I thought she was unbelievable,” McDavid said. “She was absolutely flying out there.” 
Last year, Coyne's teammate Hilary Knight did the accuracy shooting drill, but her impressive time wasn't included in the official results.
Johnny Gaudreau defended his title in the puck control contest with a time of 27.045, and John Carlson, who captured a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals last season, won the hardest shot contest with a blast of 102.8 mph.
The NHL all-star game will take place on Sunday.