Börje Salming

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Börje Salming
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1996
Bsalming.jpg
Börje Salming at an Oldtimers game in Scandinavium
Born (1951-04-17) April 17, 1951 (age 63)
Kiruna, SWE
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
Position Defence
Shot Left
Played for Kiruna AIF (Division 2)
Brynäs IF (SEL)
Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
AIK Hockey (SEL)
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1967–1993

Anders Börje Salming (born April 17, 1951), nicknamed "The King", is a retired Swedish professional ice hockey defenceman. He played for Kiruna AIF, Brynäs IF, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Detroit Red Wings, and AIK. Salming was one of the first European players to make an impact in the National Hockey League (NHL), paving the way for future generations of players. He was one of the premier defencemen of his era in the NHL, and was recognized for this by being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. Salming also played extensively for Sweden in international play. He was recognized for this by being selected to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team.

Early life[edit]

Salming was born on April 17, 1951, in the village of Salmi, Jukkasjärvi församling, in Kiruna near Torneträsk. His father, Erland, was of Saami origin, while his mother, Karin, was Swedish. His paternal grandfather Anders Nikolaus had the surname of Saari, but changed to Salming after the village that he and his father (Börje's great-grandfather) had built up. His father was a mineworker and died in an accident in the mine when Salming was 5 years old. This probably has some influence on him becoming a hockey player, as his mother told him that he could do whatever he wanted with his life, but he could not go into the mine. He is proud of his Sami heritage, and wears a traditional Sami pewter bracelet.[1][2]

He followed in his brothers footsteps playing ice hockey and also played handball.

Playing career[edit]

Professional[edit]

Salming played with Kiruna AIF in Sweden's Division 2 from 1967–1970, before joining Brynäs in the top division between 1970 and 1973. Brynäs won league championships in 1971 and 1972 with Salming on the squad. Salming was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 12, 1973.[3] Salming was not the Leafs target when they began scouting in Sweden; they were actually interested in Inge Hammarström, but scout Gerry McNamara reported back positively on Salming after seeing him play.[4]

Salming made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Leafs at the beginning of the 1973–74 NHL season against the Buffalo Sabres. After a 7–4 victory, Salming was named the best player of the game.[4] At the end of the season, Salming had recorded 39 points.[4]

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 "Chicken Swedes". However, Salming did much to permanently eradicate that reputation.[4] He played in 1148 regular season games (1099 of them with the Leafs), 81 playoff games and scored 150 goals and 637 assists[5] in the NHL.

Salming was named a First Team All-Star in 1977, and was selected to the Second Team in 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979 and 1980.[3] Salming spent 16 seasons with the Maple Leafs, recording 768 points (148 goals, 620 assists).[4]

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, he 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.[6]

International[edit]

Salming was a fan favourite in Toronto. The peak of his popularity may have come during the 1976 Canada Cup which was held at Maple Leaf Gardens. When Team Sweden was playing against the United States, Salming received an extended standing ovation during player introductions.[7] 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."[8][9]

Suspension[edit]

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. However, Salming served just eight games of the suspension before being reinstated.

Retirement[edit]

Salming with All-Star Legends 2008 in Toronto

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 Gallery in Toronto, Canada.

Honours and awards[edit]

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 National Hockey League Players, the highest-ranked player from Sweden.

On October 4, 2006, Salming's no. 21, along with Red Kelly's and Hap Day'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.[10]

Records[edit]

  • Holds the NHL record for most career points by an undrafted defenceman (787).
  • 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 career plus-minus[citation needed].

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 Kiruna AIF Swe-2 8 - - - -
1968–69 Kiruna AIF Swe-2 13 - - - -
1969–70 Kiruna AIF Swe-2 16 5 - 5 -
1970–71 Brynäs IF Swe-1 27 2 8 10 24
1971–72 Brynäs IF Swe-1 28 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[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nuorat.se Tre kändisar - tre samer, Ann-Helen Laestadius
  2. ^ http://www.svenskalag.se/news.asp?teamID=2385&newsID=62174
  3. ^ a b "Borje Salming". Toronto Maple Leafs. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Borje Salming Biography at Legends of Hockey". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Borje Salming's profile at hockeydb.com". hockeyDB.com. Retrieved October 5, 2006. 
  6. ^ "Salming, Borje - Statistics, Awards & Career". Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved October 5, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Induction Showcase - Borje Salming". Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved October 5, 2006. 
  8. ^ Patrick Houda. "Most Popular Player in 1976 Wasn't Canadian". Retrieved October 5, 2006. 
  9. ^ Video of Salming ovation
  10. ^ Lance Hornby. "Salming reaches new heights". TorontoSun.com. Archived from the original on October 22, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2006. 

External links[edit]