Former Toronto Maple Leafs star Börje Salming has died at the age of 71, the team has confirmed.

In a statement Thursday, 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.”

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Shanahan said Salming joined the team 50 years ago, adding that he will “forever be a part of our hockey family.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Pia, his children Theresa, Anders, Rasmus, Bianca, Lisa and Sarah and brother Stieg,” he said.

Salming signed with the Leafs as a free agent ahead of the 1973-74 season and spent 16 seasons with the team.

More to come.