STOCKHOLM -- Pia Salming was welling up.
Only this time, 358 days after the death of her beloved husband, Borje Salming, these were tears of joy.
On this special day at the iconic Cafe Opera in downtown Stockholm, Pia had just witnessed NHL Alumni Association president Glenn Healy and former Toronto Maple Leafs great Mats Sundin present Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom with the inaugural Borje Salming Courage Award.
The honor goes to the Europe-born NHL alum who has been a positive influence in their community and best embodies Borje Salming's lasting legacy of courage, bravery and dedication on and off the ice.
In Pia's estimation, there could be no better recipient than Lidstrom, the Sweden-born seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the top defenseman in the NHL.
The former Detroit Red Wings star is on the board of directors of the Borje Salming Foundation, which raises funds to research ALS, the disease that led to Salming's death Nov. 24, 2022.
"Nick's efforts have been overwhelming, and so has the support from all over," Pia said. "The creation of this award, well, it shows the heart from Canada, which has helped us from the beginning. I mean, we're like a family. And now that we have this award in cooperation with the foundation, it's going to mean everything in the future. Everything."