Maple Leafs icon Borje Salming has died after a battle with ALS. (Picture by Bruce Bennett/Getty Photographs)

Toronto Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming has died on the age of 71 after a battle with ALS, the staff introduced Thursday.

Salming was one of the vital distinguished defensemen of his technology and have become the primary Swedish participant to be inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1996. He impressed a number of generations of Swedish gamers and was not too long ago honored on the finish Corridor of Fame Weekend 2022, as the category was led by Swedish stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin, in addition to Daniel Alfredsson.

He made his debut with the Maple Leafs in 1973-74 and, together with Darryl Sittler, was the face of the franchise throughout a number of the darkest days in staff historical past. An equally proficient offensive dynamo on his personal aspect, Salming earned six All-Star picks throughout his illustrious profession. He scored 148 targets and 768 factors with the Maple Leafs and performed his ultimate season with the Detroit Purple Wings in 1988-89.

“The Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the lack of Börje Salming,” the staff mentioned in an announcement. “Börje was a recreation pioneer and icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned tenacity. He helped open the door for Europeans within the NHL and outlined himself by way of his play on the ice and his contributions to the neighborhood.

“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 her brother Stieg.”

Affectionately referred to as “The King”, Salming was named one of many 100 biggest gamers in NHL historical past by the league in 2017, and inducted into the IIHF Corridor of Fame in 1998.

Salming was among the finest gamers in Maple Leafs historical past and it is an incalculable loss for the franchise. He was each affable and media-weary, whereas paving the way in which for the following technology of European superstars to observe.

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