Joining the ranks of Orel Hershiser, professional baseball player, and Boris Becker, professional tennis player, Swedish hockey legend Mats Sundin is now a celebrity ambassador of PokerStars, the world-famous online poker site. But his face on a poker site doesn’t mean his playing days are over. The 6-foot-5, 231-pound player may be a 38-year-old free agent, but he still aspires to play hockey after rediscovering his passion last year.
Before suiting up with the Vancouver Canucks for the 08-09 season, Sundin rose to fame as the Toronto Maple Leafs’ captain. He began his stint with the Leafs after being traded from the Quebec Nordiques in 1994. It took a few years to excel as the Maple Leafs’ centre, but in 1999, Mats proved his worth by leading Toronto into the playoffs as the four seed. They were defeated in five games against the Buffalo Sabres, but an undeterred Sundin and the Leafs pressed on and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001-02, only to lose to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Of his 13 years as a Toronto Maple Leaf, Sundin led the team in scoring 12 times. They never won a Stanley Cup, and after looking toward the future, the Leafs let Sundin’s contract expire and he was picked up as a free agent by the Canucks in 2008. Mats was the first-ever European player drafted by the NHL, and although he’s never been to the Promised Land, he has still had an impressive career, scoring 564 goals, 1349 points, and registering 785 assists.
Mats’ life is much different now. Even though hockey isn’t ruled out, the Canucks have expressed no plans to resign him. The aging hockey star, thought by many to be over the hill, is going into his second year as a PokerStars ambassador. And with any luck, Sundin may win the big tournament (WSOP) for the PokerStars team. As an ambassador to an internet gambling site, Sundin is no longer inspiring people to play hockey, but rather inspiring people to play video poker and ante up in online tournaments. You can play against Sundin at PokerStars. He goes by the name of “MatsSundin” on the site and is always participating in PokerStars-sponsored events on the EPT.