Ice hockey legend Börje Salming has died – praised at home and abroad

His former club, the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced his death.

– The Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the loss of Börje Salming. He was a pioneer in this sport and an icon with an unbreakable passion and toughness that no one can doubt. He helped open doors for Europeans in the NHL and defined himself through his play on the ice and his contributions to society, he said message of the Maple Leafs by club president Brendan Shanahan.

Just over a week ago, Salming was praised by the Maple Leafs in regards to two home games in the NHL. He let the tears flow as the audience stood and applauded.

Moments of time

This summer, Salming said he had been diagnosed with ALS. This disease attacks the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. While he was being honored in Toronto, Salming was so affected by his illness that he had to get help from former teammate Darryl Sittler to get off the ice.

Following the visit to Toronto, Salming also attended a gala in Stockholm where the award he received in 1973 from a Canadian crowd during the Canada Cup crowned Sweden’s all-time ice hockey moment. It was his last public appearance.

Close the door

– Now we close the door. From now on it is only a family matter, said his wife Pia at the time.

Salming was born in Kiruna in 1951. He won two SC gold medals with Brynäs before turning pro in the NHL in 1973. He played over 1,000 games for the Maple Leafs and is considered one of the sport’s greatest players.

– Börje joined the Maple Leafs 50 years ago and will always be part of our hockey family. Our deepest condolences to his wife Pia, six children and brother, said the message from Maple Leafs.

Ken Robbins

"Bacon nerd. Future teen idol. Zombie aficionado. Troublemaker. Travel buff. Award-winning reader."

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