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Leafs pay tribute to Salming with jersey patch

Börje Salming jersey patch Börje Salming jersey patch - Toronto Maple Leafs on Twitter

The Toronto Maple Leafs honoured Börje Salming with a patch on the right shoulder of their jerseys during Friday's game in Minnesota against the Wild.

Salming passed away on Thursday after being diagnosed with ALS earlier this year. He was 71.

The patch is in the shape of a Maple Leafs logo with "Börje" displayed across the middle in yellow on a blue background, symbolizing the colours of Salming's native Sweden. The top of the leaf is also styled in the form of a crown, paying hommage to Salming's nickname, The King.

Börje Salming jersey patch

Börje Salming jersey patch

One of the first European-trained players to make an impact in the NHL, he is credited with helping pave the way for many future European stars. A native of Kiruna, Sweden, Salming signed with Toronto as a free agent in 1973 and played with the Maple Leafs for 16 seasons before finishing his NHL career playing one season with the Detroit Red Wings.

A First Team All-Star and five-time Second Team All-Star in the NHL, he appeared in 1,148 career games with the Maple Leafs and Red Wings, posting 150 goals and 787 points. He was also the first Swedish-born player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"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," said Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan in a statement. "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.”