So, I actually feel bad about the fact that there is no thread in the Swedish forum about Mats finally making the official announcement and decided to call it quits.
Good for him, and for all the ever guessing fans and GM's in the NHL.
However, Mats was one of our greats, and he certainly carried the torch and became an icon for Swedish hockey in my eyes. Much like Borje Salming made a statement in the NHL, Mats chipped away at the old myth about Swedes being soft and yellow by being physical and tough to play against but still having enough skill to not only beat you but put you on a poster as his ***** as well.
My favorite moment and memory of him, despite the hundreds of NHL games I've seen him play, is the beginning of the 3rd period in the OG finals. He breaks Koivus stick on the face off, goes in on the 2nd wave behind Forsberg, catches the drop pass, and drops it once more to Lidas who hammers it for Gold! Somehow, that sequence of events summarizes him as the hockey player he was to me.
Thank you for all the moments and memories, Mats. I hope it gets even better from here for you.
Mats definitely deserves his own thread in here. He's the best Tre Kronor player there ever was. I was so glad that he got to captain a Swedish olympic gold winning team. It's really weird imagining a Swedish team in a best on best tournament without Sudden. Any Tre Kronor side is weird without him, really.
I actually agree with Anrell that Sweden should retire the no 13 jersey. Can you imagine anyone else wearing that jersey for Sweden?