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

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 affect on hockey extends far past that.

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

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

“Every player from Europe or outside of North America should thank Borje for paving the way for all of them to have the great chance to play this unbelievable game,” 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 had 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 Hall of Fame and in 2017 he was named to the NHL’s 100 Greatest Players checklist.

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

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

“Borje, in my opinion, was one of the top five or six defencemen of all time, he was a fearless competitor… he could do it all, but more than anything, he was a warrior,” McDonald stated.

“(But) he was even a better teammate off of the ice. We loved just hanging out with him, seeing his big smile all the time every time he greeted you after maybe you’d only been gone for a day or even a week or a couple of years.”

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