Anders Borje Salming (April 17, 1951-) erased any notion that European players, specifically Swedes, lacked the physical toughness, determination and grit required of an NHL player as he paved the way for generations of Europeans to not only play, but often dominate the North American game. Salming learned his craft in the Swedish league with the Kiruna AIF and the Brynas IF leading the latter to the 1971 and 1972 league championships. He was spotted by a Toronto Maple Leafs scout during this time and signed with the Leafs in 1973. Salming proved the critics wrong as he scored five goals and 34 assists in his rookie campaign and was a plus 38. Salming played defense for 17 seasons with the Leafs (1973-1989) and the Detroit Red Wings (1989-90) before returning to his native Sweden to finish his lengthy hockey career. Borje was named to five NHL All-Star Second Teams and the 1976-77 First Team. He also played in three NHL All-Star Games. “The King”, as he was dubbed, won a bronze and silver medal at the 1972 and 1973 World Championships, respectively. Salming overcame a year-long suspension for admitting he tried cocaine in 1986-87, having sat out only eight games, as he scored four goals and 16 assists while posting a plus 17 for the 1986-87 season. He continues to hold six Toronto defenseman records including career points, goals and assists by a defenseman as well as the best plus/minus for a career (+175). Borje finished his stellar career with 150 goals and 637 assists, 1,344 penalty minutes and a +175 plus/minus over 17 years and 1,148 career games. Borje Salming was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996.