The statement reads:

The Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the loss of Börje Salming. Börje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness. He helped open the door for Europeans in the NHL and defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community.

Börje joined the Maple Leafs 50 years ago and will forever be a part of our hockey family. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Pia, his children Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sara and brother Stieg.

Anders Börje Salming was born in Kiruna, Sweden on April 17, 1951. He grew up in Kiruna, in the far north of Sweden. His father, Erland Salming (1921-1956) died in a mine accident, and Börje and his older brother Stig (1947 -) were raised by their mother Karin (Persson) Salming.  Born in 1927, Karin was still living in Kiruna in 2021.

Börje played for Brynäs IF when he was old enough, and so obviously good enough, to leave Kiruna. He returned to Sweden after his NHL career and played two seasons with AIK. Brynäs held a special Game for Börje a week ago, and the Toronto Maple Leafs sent a representative. He was a part of their family too.

The story of Börje’s signing by the Maple Leafs and arrival in Toronto is well told, and his career with the Maple Leafs, that truly did change NHL hockey forever, is one of the most remarkable NHL stories. He remains the all-time leader in goals and points by a Maple Leafs defender, and is second only to Tim Horton in penalty minutes, over 30 years after he last played a game for the Leafs.

Toronto hockey fans were fortunate to have one last visit from Börje at the HHOF induction weekend a few days ago. We got to cheer him one last time, and be impressed anew at his spirit, his toughness, his perseverance. He will always be a Maple Leaf, one of the greats, and we will never forget what he gave to us.

We join the Maple Leafs in offering our deepest condolences to his loved ones, and to all his hockey families.