The Toronto Maple Leafs are raising funds for ALS Action Canada in memory of Leafs legend Börje Salming, who died recently after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The team said in a statement that on Wednesday, it will be offering a one-day promotion with all net proceeds from sales of the team’s reverse retro sweater going towards the organization.
It can be bought online at shop.realsports.ca, at the in-person Real Sports Apparel store, or at the shop at Scotiabank Arena.
The team sweaters from Wednesday’s game against the San Jose Sharks will also be auctioned off this week with the proceeds going to the organization, the statement said.
‘A pioneer of the game’: Toronto Maple Leafs star Börje Salming dead at 71
The auction will be held online at auctions.realsports.ca from Wednesday at 12 p.m. until Saturday at 8 p.m.
Meanwhile, for the rest of the season, the sweater patch worn by the team to honour Salming will be made available for sale to the public. All net proceeds from those sales will go to ALS Action Canada as well, the Leafs said.
“On behalf of ALS Action Canada, the first and only ALS patient-led advocacy organization in this country, we thank the Toronto Maple Leafs for its generosity in supporting our work to help ALS families urgently access new drug therapies, get better access to clinical trials, and push for increased research funding for (a) cure,” said Mark Kirton, a Leafs alumnus and member of the organization.
“Börje Salming’s death reminds us all that it is time to raise our voices and come together as a country to end this horrific and torturous disease now.”
The Maple Leafs confirmed last week that Salming died at the age of 71.
Toronto Maple Leafs president and alternate governor Brendan Shanahan said the organization is mourning the loss of Salming.
“Börje was a pioneer of the game and an icon with an unbreakable spirit and unquestioned toughness,” Shanahan said in the statement. “He helped open the door for Europeans in the NHL and defined himself through his play on the ice and through his contributions to the community….
“We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Pia, his children Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sarah and brother Stieg.”
In August, the team announced Salming had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“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,” Salming said at the time. “I also recognize that there is no cure but there are numerous worldwide trials going on and there will be a cure one day.
“Since I started playing ice hockey as a little kid in Kiruna, and throughout my career, I have given it my all. And I will continue to do so.”
Earlier this month, the Toronto Maple Leafs honoured Salming at Scotiabank Arena.
Salming shook hands with every member of the Maple Leafs as he slowly departed the ice.
— With files from Hannah Jackson
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