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Maple Leafs Legend Börje Salming Announces He's Been Diagnosed with ALS

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 10, 2022

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Toronto Maple Leafs legend Börje Salming announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with ALS.

Salming said in a statement through the team he had "signs that indicated that something was wrong in my body."

"In an instant, everything changed," he said. "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 there are numerous worldwide trials going on and there will be a cure one day."

Toronto Maple Leafs @MapleLeafs

Today, Maple Leafs great Börje Salming shared a statement (below) on his health.<br> <br>The Toronto Maple Leafs and all their fans around the world are sending you their love and support, Börje.

The Maple Leafs also provided a statement from Dr. Caroline Ingre, Salming's doctor:

"In recent decades, we have learned much more about the cause of ALS, and it has been shown that ALS is not a single disease. Instead, ALS is probably a collection of subgroups that all lead to the same symptom picture.

"ALS is a devastating disease that not only affects the muscles but can also affect personality and cognitive functions. The people affected by this disease experience a progressive muscle weakness. In about 70 percent of diagnoses, the disease starts with symptoms from the spinal cord, which increasingly weakens the patient's arms and legs, while in about 30 percent it starts around the mouth and throat, leading to slurred speech and difficulties swallowing."

Salming spent all but one of his 17 years in the NHL with Toronto, finishing up with the Detroit Red Wings in 1989-90.

The Sweden native signed with the Leafs ahead of the 1973-74 season and appeared in 1,099 games for the team, finishing with 148 goals and 620 assists. A six-time All-Star, he's third all-time among Maple Leafs players in appearances, first in assists and fourth in points. His plus-150 plus/minus is second only to Tim Horton.

Salming was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. He was also named one of the NHL's 100 greatest players when the league celebrated its centennial in 2017.

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