On November 24th, Toronto Maple Leafs legend Börje Salming passed away. He was diagnosed with ALS this summer and shared his struggle and battle with the terrible disease with the world this autumn.
Börje Salming was a trailblazer for Europeans playing in the NHL and is considered one of the biggest players of all time in Sweden. He was a role model for so many, especially for Swedish NHL players. Börje Salming was always there for players needing advice or support, and Börje was even more special for Swedes playing in Toronto.
When Börje Salming was in Toronto for an honoring from the Maple Leafs and its fans, Toronto started the game with six Swedes on the ice as a tribute to Salming.
Now, one of those Swedes, goalkeeper Erik Kallgren, has made a tribute of his own to Börje Salming.
The Toronto Marlies of the AHL shared a picture on social media of the new mask that Kallgren will play with for the rest of the year.
The artist behind the mask is another Swede, David Gunnarsson, and on social media, he wrote:
”It was an honor to paint this tribute mask to the king.”
The mask features several pictures of Börje Salming wearing the Leafs jersey, as well as his Nr. 21, which is also retired by the Maple Leafs organization. Mask art is truly special if it’s done right, and we absolutely think they’ve nailed this one. It has to be the coolest helmet in NHL.
What an awesome tribute to one of the All-Time greats. Well done, Erik Kallgren and David Gunnarsson. Respect!