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Lanny McDonald remembers former teammate Borje Salming: ‘He was a warrior’


Borje Salming was one of many nice gamers in Toronto Maple Leafs historical past, however his influence on hockey extends far past that.

Salming was a trailblazer who got here abroad from Sweden to start out a brand new period of NHL hockey, the place Europeans turned game-changers and elite gamers in North America. Though he by no means received a Stanley Cup, he received over gamers and followers from world wide together with his breathtaking velocity, unmatched ability and relentless willpower to maintain going regardless of adversity.

Now followers, pals and teammates are reflecting on Salming’s legacy after the 71-year-old handed on Thursday following a battle with ALS.

“Each participant from Europe or exterior of North America ought to thank Borje for paving the way in which for all of them to have the nice likelihood to play this unbelievable sport,” Lanny McDonald, a former teammate of Salming’s, stated on Hockey Central.

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Salming is the Maple Leafs’ all-time chief in video games performed (1,099) and factors (768) by a defenceman, and helped Toronto make the playoffs in 12 of his 16 seasons. McDonald and Salming joined the Leafs collectively forward of the 1973-1974 season and have been teammates for seven years, by no means failing to make the post-season.

In 1996, Salming was the primary Swedish-born participant inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame and in 2017 he was named to the NHL’s 100 Biggest Gamers checklist.

Earlier this month Salming was honoured on back-to-back nights in Toronto throughout Corridor of Fame weekend. Whereas ALS had visibly taken a toll on him, the ceremony and his mere presence moved everybody in attendance and watching on TV.

Along with his passing, the NHL neighborhood misplaced not solely one of many best to ever play however somebody who actually revolutionized the sport and was an distinctive international ambassador.

“Borje, in my view, was one of many prime 5 – 6 defencemen of all time, he was a fearless competitor… he may do all of it, however greater than something, he was a warrior,” McDonald stated.

“(However) he was even a greater teammate off of the ice. We cherished simply hanging out with him, seeing his large smile on a regular basis each time he greeted you after possibly you’d solely been gone for a day or perhaps a week or a few years.”

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