NEW YORK (Nov. 24, 2022) – National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman issued the following statement on the passing of NHL legend Borje Salming:
“A superior all-around defenseman and the first Swedish star ever to play in the League, Borje Salming was as physically and mentally tough as he was skillfully gifted. He blazed the trail that many of the greatest players in NHL history followed while shattering all of the stereotypes about European players that had been prevalent in a League populated almost entirely by North Americans before his arrival in 1973.
“Salming owns nearly every franchise record for Maple Leafs defensemen – including, goals (148), assists (620) and points (768) – and was voted to the NHL’s First or Second postseason All-Star Teams six consecutive seasons. He was named one of the top 10 players in Leafs history in 2016. Soon after, he was selected one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players during the League’s Centennial celebration. In 1996, he became the first European-trained skater inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of Borje, a towering presence and transformational figure in the game’s history. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Pia; his children, Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sara; all who marveled at his exploits and the many NHL Players who stand on his shoulders.”
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