“Everything changed in an instant” – Hockey Hall of Famer Borje Salming diagnosed with ALS

Borje Salming was the first Sweden-born player to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Borje Salming
Borje Salming
FirstSportz News

Former Swedish ice hockey player Anders Borje Salming aka “The King” has been diagnosed with ALS, as confirmed on Wednesday. The longtime Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, recently talked about the issues he’s been facing due to the disease. 

The 71-year-old said he has been encountering speech issues and feeling lacklustre of late but was left in a shock to find out the reason. Salming reckoned that this news has “shaken him and his family.”  

“The signs that indicated that something was wrong in my body turned out to be the disease ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig´s disease,” Salming said in a statement, as quoted by NHL.com. “In an instant, everything changed.

“I do not know how the days ahead will be, but I understand that there will be challenges greater than anything I have ever faced. I also recognize that there is no cure, but numerous worldwide trials are going on and there will be a cure one day. Meantime, we will remain positive as there are treatments available to slow the progression.”

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“Frightening for Börje knowing there’s no cure”

Borje Salming
Borje Salming

The Jukkasjarvi native Salming played 16 seasons with the Maple Leafs (1973-89) before finishing his National Hockey League (NHL) career with the Detroit Red Wings (1989-90). He had a whopping 787 points (150 goals, 637 assists) in as many as 1,148 games at the time of bidding adieu to the sport.

“It’s devastating,” Sittler said. “We get together every spring, you marvel at the shape he’s in, and then this. It’s very challenging for him. It’s frightening for him to know there’s no cure.

“Since he and his family reached out to inform me about 3 1/2 weeks ago, we’ve been trying to guide him and get him the best help we can.”

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