Last night’s impromptu Borje Salming love fest took my breath away.
Darryl Sittler raising Borje Salming’s arm.
A standing ovation at ScotiaBank Arena.
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) November 12, 2022
When I played hockey I chose #22 because I wanted to be the next Borje Salming (spoiler: I was not)
Love seeing Darryl Sittler and him here getting it done
— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) November 12, 2022
#LeafsForever retired players Borje Salming and Mats Sundin share a moment as they take part in a Hall of Fame pregame ceremony prior to NHL hockey action between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins. #toronto #borjesalming #borje pic.twitter.com/oImqnqJUYk
— Frank Gunn (@frankgunnphoto) November 12, 2022
What a moment. A standing ovation for Borje Salming. pic.twitter.com/yNeYbBVKXi
— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) November 12, 2022
I swear to God, I’ve watched these videos 100 times today, and Frank Gunn’s pic almost killed me this morning.
Borje was the first impact player from Sweden in the NHL and was a fucking WARRIOR.
He was targeted by Canadian and American players for being Swedish and “soft,” according to Don Cherry. All Borje did was respond by becoming the highest-scoring d-man in Leafs’ history,
He was two-handed, bull-hooked, slough footed, and cross-checked into becoming the meanest son-of-a-bitch ever to patrol the blue line for the Maple Leafs, and his toughness was legendary.
Like that time, he almost had his face cut in half by Gerrard Gallant’s skate and did a post-game interview in a housecoat after receiving 300 stitches.
Borje has approximately 600 scars from a lifetime of playing hockey and 17 years of punishment brought him here. His Iconic status and a statue on Legend’s row will live forever, as will the memories he helps create for generations of Leaf fans and Swedish hockey players.
Last night’s Leaf pregame was supposed to be about Sedin, Luongo, and Alfredsson, but it was about Borje. Borje was diagnosed with ALS this year, and the disease is taking over. Darryl Sittler and Mats Sunding flanked Borje yesterday, who showed up for the annual HOF induction ceremony despite his condition.
Tonight’s pregame will be way heavier. The entire game will be played as a tribute to Borje Salming and what he meant and still means to many.
He’s a fighter, and he’ll fight to the end where we’ll be left with memories and that appreciation reserved for real heroes like Borje Salming.