Pelletier and Houda look back at
key performers from the Canada Cup/World Cup of
Borje Salming Biography
Friday, September 3,
1976 in Toronto was one of Börje's most memorable
moments in his hockey career. 12,211 fans gave Börje
a 5-minute standing ovation during the player
introductions. It was
an honour no other player received during the
" I'll never
forget our game in Toronto. The fans gave me a
standing ovation during the introductions.
I was representing my country and Canadian fans
gave me a standing ovation.
Sometimes hockey has no country." Börje said
During the 1976 Canada
Cup tournament most of the Swedish play was built
up around Börje
Salming. He played over 30 minutes in each game
and did it admirably.
He scored two goals
against USA in the opening game. In the next game
Soviets he made a beautiful pass to Anders Hedberg
for the tying goal.
He was then held pointless against Canada.
fair but their tactic was to neutralize me and
Anders Hedberg, which they
managed to do. Bodies were flying all the time.
Bobby Hull hit me really hard a couple
of times in the first few minutes, I softened up
quite a bit after that, but the hits were all
In the fourth game
against Finland the whole Swedish team had an off
In the final round
robin game Sweden beat Czechoslovakia 2-1. Börje
Salming scored both goals and the scoreboard at Le
Colisée in Québec flashed Salming -
Czechoslovakia 2-1. All in all Salming was one of
the best players of the tournament.
"The 1976 Canada
Cup tournament is one of my fondest memories in my
hockey career, unfortunately I can't say the same
thing about the 1981 tournament."
The 1981 Canada Cup
adventure was a huge fiasco for the star filled
Swedish team, not
even Salming came up to his usual standard.
" I can't explain
what happened in Canada Cup 1981. I can only
underline that we were awful. That tournament is
actually almost erased from my memory."
Börje Salming was
born on April 17, 1951 in Kiruna, a mining town up
in northern Sweden. Börje's
grandfather Anders Nikolaus settled down in a
small village called Salmi just south of
a lake named Talojärvi near Torne träsk. His
grandfather then took the family name of Salming
after the village name.
He and Börje's
grandmother Ida got twelve children, but six of
them died. Börje's father was killed in the mines
in 1956 when Börje was only 5 years old. He
got stuck in a transportation device and crushed
Börje's four year
older brother Stig not only was a his 'big
brother', he also became someone that Börje
looked up to. Stig also was like a father figure
for Börje. Stig looked after him and protected
Their mother had a
tough task to raise Börje and Stig. For a while
when she was searching for a job Börje lived at
her parents house in Murjek near Boden. Eventually
Börje's uncle Isak helped out in raising the
kids. Börje also got a little sister, Carina.
Börje and his brother
had a great passion for hockey at an early age and
played at the local rink as soon as they could. Börje's
star rose quickly. He played for Kiruna AIF in the
Swedish second division and also worked in the
mines for a brief time.
the spring of 1969 the 18-year old Börje made his
elite league debut with Brynäs IF where his
brother already played. Börje then won the
Swedish championship and got to represent Sweden.
Des Moroney, a well known Canadian playing coach
in Sweden at that time proclaimed.
" Börje Salming is more Canadian in his
playing style than the Canadians themselves."
Börje was signed as a
free by Toronto Maple Leafs on May 12,1973 and
became an overnight success in
the NHL. He was the first European trained player
who made an impact in the NHL and this paved the
other European players. Börje played 17 seasons
in the NHL, 16 of them in Toronto and one in
Detroit. He played 1148 regular season games and
another 81 playoff games, scoring over 600 points.
When Börje returned to Sweden in 1990 he was 40
years old. He was still in great shape and was
still hungry for hockey. Börje crowned his
fabulous career by playing three seasons in the
Stockholm club AIK, he represented Sweden in the
1991 Canada Cup, his third. He also played in the
He created a stir upon
his return to Sweden like no other player before
him. Most Swedish fans had only read about his NHL
career but very few had seen him play. Börje
Salming was a legend upon his return to Sweden. He
didn't disappoint his home fans. After his playing
career was over he introduced his own exclusive
clothing collection and imported Canadian beer to
1996 Börje Salming achieved probably his greatest
honour when was inducted into the Hockey Hall of
This 'mining boy' is today ranked as probably the
greatest defenseman in Swedish history, and hockey
history in general.