Keon still no Leafs fan

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Mats Sundin has Dave Keon's best wishes as he prepares to pass him for second place in Maple Leaf career scoring.

But Keon, the four-time Stanley Cup champ, wonders if Sundin's Leafs will win even one title in the near future.

"As time goes by, the more harder it gets to climb that mountain," Keon said last night at St. Michael's College, where he was part of his old school's 100th anniversary in the Ontario Hockey Association. "It's been a long time (almost 40 calendar years), but I don't think they can depend on the law of averages to win."

Sundin, meanwhile, enters this season with 833 points, 25 behind Keon and now within 100 of Darryl Sittler's record 916. Though Keon lives out of town and remains aloof from the Leafs hierarchy more than 30 years after a bitter parting, he expressed admiration for Sundin, whose quiet, lead-by-example style emulates his.

"It's been hard on Sundin to do what he's done, because there's no (championship) history here to draw from," Keon said. "But I've met him a few times and he's the kind of player who knows the game. It doesn't bother me that he'll pass me. You realize it will happen some day."

Red Kelly and Borje Salming, two of Keon's teammates at the start and end of his Toronto career, will have their respective sweater numbers 4 and 21 honoured with banners on opening night next month. But Keon still considers the club policy of not outright retiring numbers to be ridiculous.

Asked if he would ever relent and attend an Air Canada Centre ceremony for No. 14 that would surely raise the roof, Keon huffed and said "no comment."


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