It could be even more exciting with Swedish newspaper Expressen reporting on Saturday that Swedish Hall of Fame defenseman Bourget Salming will fly to be on hand despite his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The careers of forwards Daniel Seden, Henrik Sedan and Daniel Alfredsson, and the careers of the entire Hall of 2022 class will be celebrated in Toronto during the weekend’s festivities. In the process, setting all three will raise the number of Swedish players in the hall from four to seven.
Prior to this year, Sunden (2012 class), fellow striker Peter Forsberg (2014), defender Borghi Salming (1996) and Niklas Liedström (2015) were the only Swedish-born NHL players in the hall. With goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist qualifying for enlistment next year, that number could reach eight by next November.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Sunden told NHL.com in a phone interview from Sweden. Hockey is going through a bit of a downturn here now.
“There are a lot of things for kids to do here right now. Hockey is just one of the options. I think there are only 70,000 or 80,000 registered players in our country right now. Those things are going in up and down trends. Now, maybe the publicity he’s going to get helps. Swedish hockey this weekend (next) to gain momentum again.
“These are great players, the kind people should be proud of.”
Sunden will know. He was a teammate with Alfredsson and the Seiden twins during Sweden’s gold medal performance at the 2006 Turin Olympics, a victory considered one of the greatest moments in Swedish hockey history.
Henrik Sedin is the all-time Vancouver Canucks captain in assists (830), points (1,070), matches played (1,330), plus-minus (plus 165) and strong playing points (369). He also earned 78 points (23 goals and 55 assists) in 105 playoffs. His 1,070 points from 2000-18 are the fifth-highest in the NHL in that period.
He also won the Hart National Hockey League Player of the Year and the Art Ross Cup as the league’s top scorer in the 2009-10 season, when he had 112 points (29 goals, 83 assists) in 82 games.
Daniel scored 1,041 points (393 goals, 648 assists) from 2000-18, seventh in the NHL in that period, 393 goals in Canucks history. He is second in assists, points, plus and minus (plus 147), games played (1306) and strengths played (367). He had 71 points (25 goals, 46 assists) in 102 Stanley Cup games.
Alfredson earned 1,157 points (444 goals, 713 assists) in 1,246 games during his 18 NHL seasons from 1995-2014. He played 17 seasons with the Ottawa Senators and his last season with the Detroit Red Wings. He won the Calder Cup as the best junior player in the National Hockey League in 1995-96, when he had 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists).
Sunden and his family will be in Toronto to welcome his countrymen to the hall next weekend. In addition, the four will be reunited on ice as part of Team Sundin, who will face a team led by Eric Lindros at the Hyundai Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic at Scotiabank Arena on November 13.
“The Olympics were a great moment for our country,” said Sunden. “And seeing these people being honored is the kind of great story that we hope will drive interest in the sport again.
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s still popular. But that would help.”
The Expressen report said that Salming will be in Toronto to meet the fans even though ALS stripped him of the ability to speak. His wife, Pia, told the newspaper he’s got clearance from his doctors, and as long as her husband raises his thumb every day, the plan is to move on. She added that if he changes his mind in the next few days, the trip will be halted.
There will certainly be no shortage of thoughts and prayers for the 71-year-old, who was the first Swedish player ever to enter the hall. It was reported in August that the rapidly progressing illness had impaired his ability to speak and made it difficult for him to eat in recent months.
He was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis earlier this year. Salming, who had 787 points (150 goals, 637 assists) in 1,148 games in 17 NHL seasons (16 with the Maple Leafs, one with the Red Wings), is in the thoughts of the Sweden Hall of Fame who consider him the person who opened the door for them to play in the NHL.
In Lidstrom’s case, he accepted an invitation to serve on the board of the recently formed Borje Salming ALS Foundation. He has been in constant contact with family, specifically Salming’s wife Pia.
Sunden has also reached out.
“He’s a strong, strong guy but this is the battle of his life,” Sunden said. “It means a lot to me. He paved the way for all of us when he went to the NHL and joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1973.”
Sunden, the Maple Leafs’ all-time leading scorer with 987 points (420 goals, 567 assists), recalled a conversation he had with Salming after Toronto offered to make him the first non-Canadian captain in franchise history in 1997.
“I wasn’t sure about that, so I reached out to Porgy for advice,” Sundin recalls. “Borg immediately told me to take it. He told me that he once turned down a similar offer from the team, and that it was one of his biggest regrets of his career.
“He’s a teacher and an inspiration to all of us. We all think about him.”
When looking at the nominees for the 2023 class, the name that jumps out is Lundqvist, who played his entire career with the New York Rangers from 2005 to 20. Lundqvist is sixth in NHL history in wins (459), ninth in games played (887) and 17 in closing (64). He is fourth in savings percentage (.918) and tied with Pekka Rinne for eighth in goals – versus an average (2.43) out of 78 goalkeepers who have played at least 500 NHL games.
Next, the choice here will be Alexander Mogilny, who has inexplicably been bypassed since 2009.
The obvious comparison with Mogilny would be Paul Carria (chapter 2017), an argument made by NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen in 2019. Mogilny played 990 NHL games, more than Carria, scoring 71 more goals (473 to 402). and another 43 points (1032 to 989). He won the Stanley Cup (2000 New Jersey Devils), something Kariya never did. Each of them won gold medals at the Olympics (Mogilny with the Soviet Union in 1988, Karia with Canada in 2002), the World Championships (Mogilny 1989, Karia 1994) and the World Junior Championships (Mogilny 1989, Kariya 1993).
Mogilny’s 76th goal with the Buffalo Sabers in 1992-93 tied for fifth in one season of the National Hockey League. In the process, he had the kind of electric skill that had you on the edge of your seat every time he touched the disc.
He’s also a leading player. He was the first player from the Soviet Union to defect with the goal of playing in the league.
It was a long enough waiting period. it is time.
“I like the national anthem even though I didn’t know what they were saying.”
– Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar spoke about the atmosphere at the Nokia Arena in Tampere, Finland after his team’s 6-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2022 NHL World Championships on Friday.
Columbus Blue Jackets President John Davidson contracted COVID-19 when he got word from that free agent Johnny Goudreu He was seriously interested in joining the team last summer. The striker eventually agreed to a seven-year, $68.25 million contract on July 13. “Sitting at home with COVID wasn’t much fun but it was kind of nice to just sit back and watch the whole thing develop.” Four months after signing, Davidson asked us three things he didn’t know about Gaudreau before.
1. His 200-foot game: “I heard his Calgary coach Daryl Sutter talk about it, but it was really nice seeing it for yourself on a regular basis. We used to call it check back—it’s called backtracking now—and he’s very good at it. And he doesn’t get Enough credit for that.”
2. Factor him: “You see the highlights but it’s different live. He has a special quality of getting people out of their seats with the kind of electricity that only a few players can produce. He had some rushes during our home games where you can see The fans are saying, “Wonderful.”
3. Practice Habits: “There are a lot of videos available about an opponent player’s performance in games but not so much in practice. We have now seen firsthand how hard he is doing day in and day out. It is a habit all great players have, and he subscribes to it.”