Sittler's record now the target

MIKE ZEISBERGER, TORONTO SUN

, Last Updated: 8:46 AM ET

Even from his vacation digs in Florida, Darryl Sittler can still hear Mats Sundin's footsteps getting closer.

Having leapfrogged Hall-of-Famer David Keon into second place on the Maple Leafs' all-time scoring list earlier this month, Sundin now has his sights set on Sittler, the franchise leader with 916 points.

In order to overtake Sittler by the end of the season, Sundin needs to accrue 50 points in the team's final 44 games.

"I'll be very gracious when it happens," said Sittler from his vacation residence in Jupiter, Fla., the same town that Keon now calls home.

Sittler, who serves as a community representative for the organization, would love to see Sundin get the opportunity to retire as a Leaf.

"It would be very nice. Mats certainly deserves it," Sittler said. "But it's a different era now, one with a salary cap, and it's understandably difficult to keep a guy on board for that long. You don't see many Steve Yzerman situations anymore."

Sittler never had the chance to end his career in blue-and-white, having been shipped out of Toronto by then-owner Harold Ballard.

If he does end up being passed by Sundin, Sittler is glad his mark would fall to a player who realizes the implications of wearing the "C" on his Toronto jersey.

"I was back with the organization with Cliff Fletcher when Mats was offered the captaincy," Sittler said. "He understood right away that it meant you had to act with grace and class, and he's done exactly that."

On another note, Sundin needs just 19 points to pass Jean Beliveau for 36th spot on the NHL's all-time scoring list.

"He is a great player who makes those around him better," Beliveau said from Montreal. "He already went by me on the all-time goals list earlier this season."

Sundin has nothing but praise for Sittler and Beliveau.

"When my career is over, it will be amazing to look back and know you were mentioned with two (Hall of Famers) like that,"he said.

MOVIN' ON UP

Mats Sundin's climb up the scoring charts:

MAPLE LEAFS POINTS

1. Darryl Sittler 916

2. Mats Sundin 867

3. Dave Keon 858

4. Borje Salming 768

5. George Armstrong 716

NHL ALL-TIME POINTS

36. Jean Beliveau 1,219

37. Larry Murphy 1,216

38. Bob Clarke 1,210

39. Bernie Nicholls 1,209

40. V. Damphousse 1,205

41. Mats Sundin 1,201


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