Maple Leafs honor Borje Salming with video, all-Swedish ice starting six


The Toronto Maple Leafs paid a heartfelt tribute to one of their greats on Saturday night – both with a moving video and their starting lineup.

Borje Salming, the great Swede who broke barriers for Europeans and Swedes in the NHL in the 1970s, announced he was diagnosed with ALS this summer – and the disease has progressed to the point where he can’t. talk more.

Despite his battle with illness, Salming traveled to Toronto for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame this weekend, receiving a moving standing ovation Friday night during the Maple Leafs-Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame game.

And the Maple Leafs took it a step further on Saturday before a game against the Vancouver Canucks.

First, the Maple Leafs released a tribute video on the Scotiabank Arena jumbotron highlighting his impact during his 16 seasons wearing the blue and white, with Salming watching from the ice and a former Maple Leafs captain in tears, Darryl Sittler, taking it from a sequel.

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Then Salming dropped the puck for a ceremonial face-off, with Swedes William Nylander (Toronto) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Vancouver) taking part.

And to go even further, the Maple Leafs put an all-Swedish starting lineup on ice for the first time in franchise history.

Erik Kallgren started in goal despite expectations that Keith Petruzelli could make his NHL debut, Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin occupied the blue line, and Nylander, Pierre Engvall and Calle Jarnkrok formed the trio of attackers.

Fans and media across the hockey world seized on this touching moment:

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