The Willy Lindstrom fans of the Edmonton Oilers saw after he arrived in town was distinctly different than the player they watched score a bushel of goals for the Winnipeg Jets in the WHA and NHL, but he was nonetheless a significant player with Edmonton’s first two Stanley Cup teams.
Lindstrom was 31 by the time he was acquired from the Jets for Laurie Boschman during the 1982-83 season. He had nine straight seasons of 20-or-more goals and three AVCO Cups from his WHA days on his resume, and he’d settle in nicely as a checker and complementary player to all that young talent Glen Sather’s Oilers had up front.
Willy Lindstrom #19
|NUMBER:||19||BIRTHDATE:||May 5, 1951|
|HEIGHT:||6′ 1″||BIRTHPLACE:||Grums, Sweden|
BY THE NUMBERS
CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS
CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS
|1988-89||BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN||5||3||1||4||4|
|1989-90||BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN||3||0||0||0||0|
Lindstrom’s offensive pinnacle as a pro in North America came in 1976-77 with the Jets in the WHA when he scored 44-36-80. With the Oilers boasting the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson up front and playing a secondary role, Lindstrom wouldn’t post those kinds of numbers in Edmonton, and he wasn’t expected to.
His best season with the Oilers came in 1983-84, when he scored 22-16-38 in 73 games, mostly as a third- and fourth-line player. Once the money was on the table, when the playoffs began, Lindstrom was at his best as a checker who could turn the puck up ice and get something done when chances arose.
The Oilers first trip to the Stanley Cup final ended in a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the New York Islanders. Lindstrom scored 2-11-13 in 16 games. In the 1984 playoffs, Lindstrom had 5-5-10 in 19 games as the Oilers won their first Cup, ending New York’s four-year reign as champions.
When the Oilers hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in 1985, Lindstrom scored just 5-1-6 in the post-season, but three of the goals he scored came in the Cup final against the Philadelphia Flyers, including the game-winner in a 3-1 victory in Game 2 that tied the Cup final 1-1.
“It was a wonderful feeling to win,” Lindstrom said of beating the Islanders in 1984. The first time was the best, but from a personal standpoint I scored more important goals when we won the Cup the second time.
“I scored three important goals in the finals and when we won the second game against Philadelphia I scored the most important goal of my entire hockey career.”
This series will look at the top 100 Edmonton Oilers from the NHL era 1979-80 to 2014-15, starting with 100 and working up.
- 90. Bryan Marchment
- 91. Miroslav Satan
- 92. David Perron
- 93. Igor Ulanov
- 94. Justin Schultz
- 95. Scott Mellanby
- 96. Norm McIver
- 97. Mark Lamb
- 98. Pat Price
- 99. Dean McAmmond
- 100 Marc-Andre Bergeron
Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260.