TOP 100 OILERS: WILLY LINDSTROM (89)

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

Right Wing

NUMBER: 19 BIRTHDATE: May 5, 1951
HEIGHT: 6′ 1″ BIRTHPLACE: Grums, Sweden
WEIGHT: 180

BY THE NUMBERS

CAREER REGULAR SEASON STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG S S%
1979-80 JETS (1979) 79 23 26 49 -19 20 5 0 4 243 9.5
1980-81 JETS (1979) 72 22 13 35 -28 45 7 0 1 163 13.5
1981-82 JETS (1979) 74 32 27 59 11 33 5 0 5 236 13.6
1982-83 JETS (1979) 63 20 25 45 -5 8 5 0 3 204 9.8
1982-83 OILERS 10 6 5 11 5 2 0 0 0 21 28.6
1983-84 OILERS 73 22 16 38 17 38 2 0 3 116 19.0
1984-85 OILERS 80 12 20 32 5 18 1 0 1 98 12.2
1985-86 PENGUINS 71 14 17 31 0 30 0 0 1 87 16.1
1986-87 PENGUINS 60 10 13 23 9 6 1 0 1 93 10.8
NHL TOTALS 582 161 162 323 -5 200 26 0 19 1,261 12.8

CAREER PLAYOFF STATISTICS

SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG
1981-82 JETS (1979) 4 2 1 3 2 0 0 0
1982-83 OILERS 16 2 11 13 4 1 0 0
1983-84 OILERS 19 5 5 10 10 3 0 0
1984-85 OILERS 18 5 1 6 8 0 0 1
1988-89 BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN 5 3 1 4 4
1989-90 BRYNAS IF GAVLE-SWEDEN 3 0 0 0 0
NHL TOTALS 57 14 18 32 24 4 0 1

NOTABLE

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.

THE STORY

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. 

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