Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming died, dwelling with ALS

Borje Salming, legendary NHL defenseman and chief of European-born gamers in North America, has died. He was 71 years outdated and was recognized with ALS earlier this 12 months.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, for whom Salming performed most of his profession, issued a statement Thursday to announce Salming’s dying.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs are mourning the lack of Börje Salming,” stated Brendan Shanahan, Leafs president and alternate governor. “Börje was a pioneer of the sport and an icon of unbreakable spirit and unquestionable toughness. He helped open the door for Europeans within the NHL and outlined himself by his play on the ice and thru his contribution to the group.

Börje joined the Maple Leafs 50 years in the past and can perpetually be a part of our hockey household. We ship our deepest condolences to his spouse, Pia, his youngsters Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sara and his brother Stieg.”

Salming’s embellished NHL profession spanned 17 seasons from 1973 to 1990 between Toronto and Detroit, with a resume boasting 1,148 video games and 787 factors. Runner-up for the Norris Trophy, Salming grew to become the primary Swedish-born participant to be inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1996 and two years later was inducted into the Corridor of Fame IIHF. The blueliner was a first-team NHL All-Star in 1977 and a five-time NHL second-team All-Star from 1975 to 1980.

For 16 of his 17 NHL campaigns, Salming was the “King” of Toronto, overseeing the Maple Leafs blue line with a physicality and grit that flew within the face of widespread stereotypes that Swedish skaters like himself had earlier than smooth to do within the NHL sport. Salming had made a right away impression when Leafs scout Gerry McNamara noticed him play abroad in 1973. McNamara was in Sweden to scout Inge Hammarstrom; he ended up signing Salm to a free agent contract as an alternative.

The defender shortly grew to become a fan favourite in Toronto and embraced his recognition there. In January 1998, Salming grew to become the primary participant born in Europe to achieve the 1,000 sport mark. The next 12 months, Salming signed a one-year free agent contract with the Purple Wings to finish his profession. Salming’s legacy in Toronto remained because the franchise’s defensive chief in assists (620) and factors (760), nonetheless, and his quantity 21 has since been retired by the group. that.

After his retirement, Salming remained an lively a part of the hockey group, which was devastated to be taught of his ALS analysis in August. A progressive illness of the nervous system, ALS impacts cells within the mind and spinal wire and results in lack of muscle management. Salming first began experiencing signs in February, and his well being declined quickly from there. Final month, Salming revealed that he had misplaced the power to talk.

Regardless of his sickness, Salming’s resolve remained intact. He was decided to attend the Corridor of Fame weekend in Toronto earlier this month when three different Swedish gamers can be inducted. Salming did it, and the Maple Leafs honored him with a pregame ovation earlier than their sport towards Vancouver. Salmadh got here throughout the ice surrounded by household to soak up the shout. The ceremonial puck drop was carried out by Swedish-born Oliver Ekman-Larsson and William Nylander, and Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe created a beginning lineup that includes all six Swedish-born gamers in Toronto.

That was the second occasion in as many nights the place Salming was acknowledged. The night time earlier than, on the annual Corridor of Fame sport between Toronto and Pittsburgh, Salming was helped off the ice by good good friend and former teammate Darryl Sittler, who broke down in tears watching Salming cheered on the sector . Salming met with Sittler in September and stated he wished to be in Toronto for the weekend that featured three Swedish-born coaches: Vancouver’s Henrik and Ottawa’s Daniel Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson .

Salming was a pioneer in each manner, making it attainable for at present’s European gamers to achieve the North American realm.

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