Toronto Maple Leafs: Hall of Famer Borje Salming’s COVID-19 battle

Borje Salming and his wife Margitta (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Borje Salming and his wife Margitta (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Hall of Fame legend Borje Salming spoke about his fight with and recovery from a suspected case of COVID-19.

Borje Salming accrued an impressive list of achievements during his 16-year career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. This includes compiling the most assists and best plus/minus rating in franchise history, while also leading all Leafs’ blue-liners in career goals and overall points.

However, all of this pales in comparison to Salming’s fight with and recovery from a suspected case of COVID-19. He is thankfully feeling a lot better now after being hospitalized six weeks ago during March.

The 69-year-old discussed his battle in a video, which was shared on Twitter by the Hockey Hall of Fame. He said:

"“When you get this, you can’t breathe and you know when you can’t breathe, you die. So, stay home, stay safe. It’s no fun to get it, so I’m lucky I’m home, but you have to be careful.”"

Salming was the first ever European-trained played to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and was named as one of the greatest 100 players in NHL history. Regardless, he is renowned for being a humble gentleman.

This was evident as Salming thanked the front line workers for everything they do. As per the Hockey Hall of Fame video, he said:

"“I want to say hello to the people who really take care of us in the hospitals … You’re so good to take care (of us) and put your life on the line. All the best to you guys; you’re the best.”"

Salming has been using his position to warn people about the importance of staying home to protect themselves and others, while also seeking to reassure them. As per Sportsnet, he has been making regular radio appearances to discuss his experience.

The Kiruna, Sweden native previously spoke to last month, to share what he discusses during his radio appearances. As reported at the time by Mike Zeisberger, Salming said:

"“People are scared. I know the feeling. And if my notoriety means I have a voice people feel they can listen to and feel better about what’s going on around them, that’s a real positive.“I just talk to them and try to ease their fears. I want them to know I’m just like them, with the same fears, the same questions, all of it. I just want them to know I’m there for them.”"

It is refreshing that Salming has maintained a subtle humour despite going through his experience, as per the reference to being notorious. In reality though, his voice is especially important during a scary time for everyone.

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What is your main highlight from Salming’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs? What do you consider to be the most impressive achievement during his NHL career? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.