Börje Salming: Wikis

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Börje Salming at an Oldtimers game in Scandinavium
Born April 17, 1951 (1951-04-17) (age 58),
Kiruna, SWE
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
Pro clubs Toronto Maple Leafs
Detroit Red Wings
Ntl. team  Sweden
Playing career 1970 – 1993
Hall of Fame, 1996

Anders Börje Salming (born April 17, 1951 in Kiruna, Norrbotten County), nicknamed "The King", is a retired Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman of Saami extraction. He played for Kiruna AIF, Brynäs IF, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings, and AIK.

Known best for his years as a Leaf, Salming was one of the premier defencemen of his era. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. He was elected to the IIHF Centennial All-Star Team in 2008 along with Vladislav Tretiak, Viacheslav Fetisov, Sergei Makarov, Valeri Kharlamov, and Wayne Gretzky.

Salming is significant to the history of the National Hockey League, as he was one of the first European players to make an impact in the league, thus paving the way for other players outside North America to play in the NHL.[1]

Contents

Playing career

Salming started playing 1967–1970 in the Swedish team Kiruna AIF in division 2. He then joined Brynäs playing in the top division 1970–73, winning the league 1971 and 1972. After making the all-star squad of the 1973 world championship, he was signed as a free agent by the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs in 1973.[2] Salming was an immediate success in Toronto and was voted as the First Star in his first ever NHL game.[3] In his inaugural season he scored 39 points as a rookie defenceman and became Toronto's rookie of the year and the 3rd best rookie[citation needed] in the NHL. Salming went on the become one of the NHL's best defensemen and enjoyed great popularity, especially in Toronto.

The peak of his popularity may have been at the 1976 Canada Cup in his home arena (Maple Leaf Gardens), when Team Sweden was playing against the United States team. He received an extended standing ovation during the player introductions.[4] Salming later commented "I'll never forget our game in Toronto. The fans gave me a standing ovation during the introductions. I was representing my country and Canadian fans gave me a standing ovation. Sometimes hockey has no country."[2][5]

On November 26, 1986, late in a game between the Leafs and the Red Wings in Detroit, Salming was knocked down in front of the Leafs net and Gerard Gallant of the Red Wings accidentally cut Salming's face with his skate blade. The injury required facial surgery and more than two hundred stitches to his face.

In 1989, after sixteen years with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Borje signed as a free agent with the Red Wings, for whom he played one season to finish his career in the NHL. He completed his pro hockey career with AIK of the Swedish Elite League.[3]

Prior to Salming, the consensus in North American hockey circles was that European players lacked the toughness to play North American hockey, with those from Sweden even being referred to as "Swedish Chickens". However, Salming did much to permanently eradicate that reputation.[6] He played 1148 regular games, 81 playoff games and scored 150 goals and 637 assists[7] in the NHL.

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Suspension

On September 4, 1986, Salming was suspended by the NHL for the entire 1986–87 season for admitting in a newspaper interview that he had tried cocaine many times at parties. However, Salming served just eight games of the suspension before being reinstated.

Retirement

After the end of his active hockey career, Salming moved into the sports underwear business with his own brand Salming Underwear. In 2007, at age 56, he posed nude for acclaimed Swedish graffiti artist Johan A Wattberg to create 31 paintings that were initially exhibited in Sweden before going on permanent display at The SPORT Galleryin Toronto, Canada.

Honours and awards

In 1996 he became the first Swedish hockey player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was ranked 74th on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the highest-ranked player from Sweden.

On October 4, 2006, Salming's no. 21, along with Red Kelly's no. 4, was honoured and raised to the top of the Air Canada Centre by the Leafs in a ceremony before their first game of the 2006–07 season.[8]

Records

  • Holds 6 career and single season Toronto Maple Leaf records including most career points by a defenseman, most career goals by a defenceman, most career assists (any position), most assists in a season by a defenceman, and best plus-minus.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1970–71 Brynäs IF Swe-1 27 2 8 10 24
1971–72 Brynäs IF Swe-1 NA 1 5 6 40
1972–73 Brynäs IF Swe-1 26 5 4 9 34
1973–74 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 76 5 34 39 48 4 0 1 1 4
1974–75 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 60 12 25 37 34 7 0 4 4 6
1975–76 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 16 41 57 70 10 3 4 7 9
1976–77 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 76 12 66 78 46 9 3 6 9 6
1977–78 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 16 60 76 70 6 2 2 4 6
1978–79 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 78 17 56 73 76 6 0 1 1 8
1979–80 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 74 19 52 71 94 3 1 1 2 2
1980–81 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 72 5 61 66 154 3 0 2 2 4
1981–82 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 69 12 44 56 170
1982–83 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 69 7 38 45 104 4 1 4 5 10
1983–84 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 68 5 38 43 192
1984–85 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 6 33 39 176
1985–86 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 41 7 15 22 48 10 1 6 7 14
1986–87 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 56 4 16 20 42 13 0 3 3 14
1987–88 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 66 2 24 26 82 6 1 3 4 8
1988–89 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 3 17 20 86
1989–90 Detroit Red Wings NHL 49 2 17 19 52
1990–91 AIK Elit 36 4 8 12 46
1991–92 AIK Elit 38 6 14 20 100
1992–93 AIK Elit 6 1 0 1 10
17 seasons Career totals NHL 1148 150 637 787 1344 81 12 37 49 91

International play

References

External links


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