Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!

This week in 1997 (Sept. 30), the Toronto Maple Leafs made Mats Sundin their first European captain and the 16th in franchise history.

Sundin, who becomes captain of a franchise whose previous owner, Harold Ballard, tried to prevent the Soviets from playing at Maple Leaf Gardens, was asked yesterday whether the appointment will bring added pressure.

“They keep saying that,” Sundin said with a laugh. “Obviously, there’s going to be a lot of things asked from me, not only on the ice but off the ice as well.

“But I like it. I think I perform better under pressure.” – the Ottawa Citizen, Oct. 1, 1997

Sundin, who joined the organization two years prior in the historic Wendel Clark deal with the Quebec Nordiques, held onto the captaincy until he left the Leafs in 2008.

In his first year with the ‘C’ on his chest, he scored 33 goals and 74 points in 82 games for the Leafs. Over the course of his 13 year Leafs career, Sundin scored 420 goals and 987 points in 981 games. In the playoffs, Sundin scored 32 goals and 70 points in 77 games for the Leafs.

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