Sport: Borje Salming, Hall of Famer defenseman for the Maple Leafs, dies at 71

Borje Salming Passes Away at Age 71

  Borje Salming Passes Away at Age 71 Hockey Hall of Fame member and legendary NHL defenseman Borje Salming has passed away at the age of 71. © Provided by The Hockey News John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports A heartbreaking loss felt across the hockey world. On Thursday, the Toronto Maple Leafs shared the news that all hockey fans had been dreading for quite some time, announcing that Hall of Fame defenseman Borje Salming has Salming had been fighting the degenerative muscular disease ALS, announcing his diagnosis in August 2022.

TORONTO — Hall of Fame defenseman Borje Salming, who starred for the Toronto Maple Leafs over 16 NHL seasons and was a trailblazer for Europeans who later made their mark in the world’s top pro hockey league, died at 71. He had Lou Gehrig’s disease.

  Borje Salming, Hall of Famer defenseman for the Maple Leafs, dies at 71 © Provided by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Maple Leafs confirmed Mr. Salming’s death in a statement Thursday.

Team president Brendan Shanahan said Salming opened the door for Europeans in the NHL.

“Borje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness,” Mr. Shanahan said. ”(Salming) defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community.”

What Bears teammates are telling Velus Jones Jr. after recent benching

  What Bears teammates are telling Velus Jones Jr. after recent benching Chicago Bears rookie receiver Velus Jones Jr. hasn’t played a down in two weeks, but fortunately his teammates are helping lift his spirits after consecutive healthy scratches. © Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK Velus Jones Jr. Speaking to reporters ahead of Chicago’s matchup with the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Jones Jr. admitted that fellow receivers Dante Pettis and Darnell Mooney have offered the first-year wideout some advice on overcoming adversity. “Dante gave me some talks before,” Jones said, via NBC Sports Chicago.

Toronto signed Mr. Salming as a free agent before the 1973-74 season.

The native of Kiruna, Sweden, went on to play 1,099 regular-season games with the Leafs, establishing team records for assists (620) and goals (148), points (768) and playoff points (49) by a defenseman.

A two-time runner-up for the Norris Trophy, losing both times to Montreal Canadiens great Larry Robinson, Mr. Salming was named to the NHL’s first all-star team in 1976-77 and the second all-star team on five occasions.

He ended his time with the Leafs with a plus-minus rating of plus-155, a statistic made more remarkable as the Maple Leafs were a vastly underperforming team for much of the 1980s.

Mr. Salming’s 17th NHL season was the Detroit Red Wings before he retired after the 1989-90 season.

Tom Brady closing in on NFL record held by Aaron Rodgers

  Tom Brady closing in on NFL record held by Aaron Rodgers Brady could break the record as soon as this week.Brady hasn’t thrown an interception since Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. Since throwing a pick to Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson back in September, Brady has thrown 373 passes without an interception. That puts him at number two on the all-time list, 29 behind Rodgers.

“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,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “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.”

In 1996, he became the first Swedish player inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In August, Mr. Salming announced he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“I do not know how the days ahead will be, but I understand that there will be challenges greater than anything I have ever faced,” Mr. Salming said at the time. “I also recognize that there is no cure but there are numerous worldwide trials going on and there will be a cure one day.

Marner ties Maple Leafs record in 3-1 win over Sharks

  Marner ties Maple Leafs record in 3-1 win over Sharks Pierre Engvall scored with 2:27 left in regulation, Mitch Marner had a goal to stretch his point streak to a franchise record-tying 18 games, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Wednesday night. © Provided by San Diego Union Tribune Toronto Maple Leafs' Mitchell Marner, left, celebrates with Auston Matthews after scoring an empty-net goal against the San Jose Sharks during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) (Chris Young / Associated Press) Auston Matthews also scored for Toronto, and Ilya Samsonov had 23 saves.

“Since I started playing ice hockey as a little kid in Kiruna, and throughout my career, I have given it my all. And I will continue to do so.”

Mr. Salming made a final appearance at center ice in Toronto earlier this month before a Leafs game against the Vancouver Canucks at Scotiabank Arena. Mr. Salming, with his family and former teammates by his side, received a standing ovation as a video chronicling his career played on the scoreboard.

Robbed of his speech and some mobility, Mr. Salming shook hands with every member of the Maple Leafs as he slowly departed the ice.

“To just see how a guy like Borje was embraced by the fans and just what he did for this organization in his time here and what he still means to the city, I think that puts a lot of things into perspective for us as players playing here,” Leafs forward Auston Matthews said after the game.

“To have guys like him and others that have paved the way for us, it means a lot. You could just see it and feel it.”

A hockey icon in Sweden, Mr. Salming represented his home country at four IIHF World Championships, three Canada Cups and the 1992 Winter Olympics. He was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 1998 and was named to the IIHF’s Centennial All-Star Team in 2008.

NFL executives believe Sean Payton will wait for one team to coach again .
The Chargers first emerged as a Payton destination over the summer.Payton continues to be linked to the Chargers. While some key hurdles remain in the path of such a partnership, league buzz is not cooling down here. Some around the league believe Payton will wait out this job, per’s Jeremy Fowler, who calls the Payton-Bolts connection a rather poorly kept secret.

See also