Photo: Frank Gunn/AP/TT
A living legend at Toronto maple Leafs. Photo: Frank Gunn/AP/TT

Hockey legend Salming honoured with bronze statue

Swedish hockey legend Börje Salming is to be honoured with a bronze statue outside the stadium of the Toronto Maple Leafs where he played for 16 years and became an all-time great.

The Toronto Sun writes that the legendary defenceman will be one of eleven former favourite players to be honoured with statues in a "legends row" outside the Air Canada Center. Statues of Ted Kennedy, Johnny Bower and Darryl Sittler have already been unveiled and Salming will be the fourth. 

"Wearing the Toronto Maple Leaf sweater for 16 seasons was a great honour, but to be recognized among some of the top players with a statue on Legends Row — especially with my teammate Darryl Sittler — is something I couldn't have imagined," Salming said in a press release. "I always look back on my time in Toronto with fondness and enjoy the chance to visit every chance I get.

"The chance to come back for the statue unveiling next September with my family will be very special."

Börje Salming, 63, played for the Maple Leafs from 1973 to 1989 in more than 1,000 matches. He accounted for 768 points, which is fourth best in the history of the club, writes the Toronto Sun.

Fellow Swede Mats Sundin could be another former Leafs' hero to be honoured with a statue. Both Salming and Sundin are honoured in the NHL's Hall of Fame and a third Swede, Peter Forsberg, will on Monday be given his place in the Hall of Fame. The former star known as "Foppa" told tabloid Aftonbladet that being named in the Hall of Fame was "a dream of all hockey players".

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