By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
National Hockey League icon Börje Salming has passed away. He was 71.
An official cause of death has not been announced yet. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
“Börje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness,” Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan said in a statement. “He helped open the door for Europeans in the NHL and defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community.
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“Börje joined the Maple Leafs 50 years ago and will forever be a part of our hockey family. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Pia, his children Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa, and Sara, and brother Stieg.”
In his career, he played in 1,099 games with the Maple Leafs. He is the team’s fourth-leading scorer with 768 points.
He was named one of the NHL’s top 100 players in 1997. His No. 21 jersey is in the rafters of Scotiabank Arena as it was permanently placed in the rafters in 2016.
“Wearing the Toronto Maple Leaf sweater for 16 seasons was a great honor,” Salming said in part in a statement made upon the announcement of his statue in 2014.
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“I always look back on my time in Toronto with fondness and enjoy the chance to visit every chance I get.”
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