A pair of Leafs legends attend morning skate to congratulate Auston Matthews

Published April 9, 2022 at 1:35 PM
BY BEN HODGSON
If you needed any further proof that what Auston Matthews is doing this season is special, here it is. The Leafs took to the ice for morning skate ahead of their Saturday night tilt against an archrival Montreal Canadiens group to chants of "MVP" raining down from the fans who had arrived early.

Among those in the stands were none other than Rick Vaive and Borje Salming. We knew Vaive would be in attendance to congratulate Auston Matthews on breaking his franchise scoring record, but Salming being in attendance came as a surprise to say the least.

Vaive and Matthews mad a meet and greet this morning. Vaive wanted to be able to meet with Matthews and pass the torch so to speak after Matthews broke his record of 54 goals in a season. Vaive played 8 seasons for the Leafs, collecting 299 goals and 537 points for the blue and white, hitting the 50 goal mark 3 times. He also served as captain from 1982-1986. The fact that his number 22 isn't hanging in the Leafs rafters is another in a long list of indictments of former Leafs owner Harold Ballard.




Borje Salming does have the honour of having his number 21 hanging in the rafters of Scotiabank Arena. One of the first Swedish NHLers, Salming was responsible for changing the narrative that Swedish hockey players were "soft." Salming was as tough a hockey player as there ever has been, racking up 1292 penalty minutes over 1099 career games for the Leafs. He claims to have over 600 scars on his body and once had to have 300 stitches in his face after being accidentally stepped on by current New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant. Borje Salming was the definition of "tough." Beside all of that, Salming was a fantastic player on the ice. He racked up 148 goals and 768 points for the Leafs. Those 768 points mark the all time record for points by a Leafs defenseman, with a gap of over 240 back to Thomas Kaberle.

There will be a ceremony before tonight's game to commemorate Matthews' historic season. a 4-goal game from Matthews to hit 60 goals with Leafs legends in attendance against the Canadiens would make for a perfect night, don't you think?

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