Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming dies at 71 – cause of death and obituary

Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming dies at 71 – cause of death and obituary
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Anders Börje Salming, also known as “The King,” was a Swedish professional ice hockey defender who played from April 17, 1951, until November 24, 2022. He has participated in games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Brynas IF, Kiruna AIF, and AIK.

Salmin paved the path for next generations of players by being one of the first European players to influence the National Hockey League (NHL) significantly. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 and was one of the top NHL defensemen of his time.

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He is well-known for spending several seasons with the Maple Leafs and currently holds the record for the most assists among other club stats. Salmin has also participated in numerous international competitions for Sweden.

In order to do this, he was selected for the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Centennial All-Star Team (IIHF). Salmin was ranked among the “100 Greatest NHL Players of All Time” in 2017.

Börje Salming revealed in August 2022 that he had been diagnosed with ALS and passed away in November of that same year.

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Salming was born on April 17, 1951, in the Jukkasjärvi municipality’s Salmi hamlet, which is located in Kiruna close to Torneträsk. His mother Karin (born 1927) was Swedish, and his father Erlander (1921–1966) was of Sami ancestry.

Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming dies at 71 - cause of death and obituary
Maple Leafs legend Borje Salming dies at 71 – cause of death and obituary

After he and his father (Börje’s great-grandfather) founded the village, Anders Nikolaus, who had the last name Saari, changed it to Salming. When Salmin was 5 years old, his miner father perished in a mine accident.

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He wears a customary Sami tin bracelet as a sign of his pride in his Sami ancestry. He was the first person of Sami descent to play in a major professional sports league in North America. He played handball and ice hockey, following in the footsteps of his older brother Stig Salmin.

Salmin played with AIF Kiruna in Sweden’s second division from 1967 to 1970, then spent the 1970s playing for Brinas in the top division. In 1971 and 1972, Brynäs and Salming won the championship.

Salmin was acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 12, 1973. Salming was not on the Leafs’ radar when they first began scouting in Sweden. They were actually interested in Inge Hammarstrom, but after watching Salming play, scout Gerry McNamara spoke favorably of him.

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