Borje Salming dead and obituary, nicknamed “The King” cause of death Maple Leafs legend
Anders Börje Salming (April 17, 1951-November 24, 2022), nicknamed “The King”, was a Swedish professional ice hockey defender. He has played for Kiruna AIF, Brynas IF, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and AIK. Salmin 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 best defensemen of his era in the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. He is known for his multiple seasons with the Maple Leafs and holds several team records, including most assists. Salmin has also played extensively for Sweden in international competitions. To this end, he was named to the Centennial All-Star Team of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). In 2017, Salmin was named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” of all time.
Börje Salming announced in August 2022 that he had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and subsequently passed away in November.
Salming was born on 17 April 1951 in the village of Salmi in Kiruna near Torneträsk, Jukkasjärvi municipality. His father Erlander (1921-1956) was of Sami descent and his mother Karin (born 1927) was Swedish. His grandfather Anders Nikolaus had the last name Saari but changed it to Salming after he and his father (Börje’s great-grandfather) built the village. His father, a miner, died in a mine accident when Salmin was 5 years old. He is proud of his Sami heritage and wears a traditional Sami tin bracelet. He was the first player of Sami descent to play in a top North American professional sports league.
Following in the footsteps of his older brother Stig Salmin, he played ice hockey and handball.
Salmin played for AIF Kiruna in Sweden’s second tier from 1967 to 1970, before joining top-flight Brinas from 1970 to 1973. Brynäs won the title with Salming in 1971 and 1972. On May 12, 1973, Salmin was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent. When the Leafs first started scouting in Sweden, Salming was not on their radar. They were actually interested in Inge Hammarstrom, but scout Gerry McNamara spoke positively of Salming after seeing him play.