Borje Salming: Top Ten Toronto Maple Leafs of All-Time, No. 6

Scott MillerAnalyst IFebruary 17, 2009

For those who remember me, during this past summer I began a countdown of (in my opinion) the "Top Ten Toronto Maple Leafs of All-Time."

However, due to my busy school and hockey schedule, my countdown came to an abrupt halt.

Today, I plan to continue it, and again write articles on Bleacher Report.

I last left off at number seven, with Johnny Bower. Next, at number six, I have chosen defenseman Borje Salming.

Born in Kiruna, Sweden, Salming joined the Leafs when he signed as a free agent in 1973, at the age of twenty-two after playing for a top-division Swedish team in Brynas. In his rookie year with Toronto, he played seventy-six games, and finished the season with thirty-nine points (5-34-39).

His best offensive year came three seasons later, when he finished the year with seventy-eight points (12-66-78). He played in the NHL All-Star Game for the next three seasons.

Salming eventually established himself as one of the league's best defensemen for quite awhile, posting outstanding numbers throughout his sixteen year career with the Leafs. He would play his last NHL season in 1989-90, with the Detroit Red Wings.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996, being the first Swedish player to be inducted. Also, the Leafs honoured and raised Salming's number 21 at the Air Canada Centre on October 6, 2006.

During his career with Toronto, Salming played 1099 games, scored 148 goals, and added 620 assists, for a total of 768 points.

Salming never played on a fantastic Leafs team, but still managed to be a premiere defenseman for many seasons. I see him as the greatest defenseman Toronto ever had, and that is why he is number six on my list of "Top Ten Toronto Maple Leafs of All-Time."