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Top five Oilers in-season trades: No. 2 — Willy Lindstrom plays key roles in Stanley Cup wins

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Photo credit:Edmonton Journal
Zach Laing
2 months ago
The soup de jour in Oil Country these days is trade talks. After a sluggish start to the season, the Oilers are in a position where they should be active in the trade market. That inspired me to look back at some of the biggest in-season trades in Edmonton Oilers history. 
We’ve looked at some of the biggest in-season moves in Oilers history this last week, checking moves like both Bill Guerin trades, the Paul Coffey trade, and the acquisition of Kent Nilsson off the list.
Now, the second most impactful in-season trade in Oilers history: acquiring Willy Lindstrom.
Much like other Swedish players, Lindstrom got his start in his home country before arriivng in North America in 1975, playing fo the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets at 24-years-old. He would make more than a big enough impact, scoring 123 goals and 261 points, helping the powerhouse team win three Avco World Cups.
And when the NHL swallowed up the league, Lindstrom transitioned to the big league, enoying four more successful years in Manitoba.
The Oilers acquired Lindstrom for Laurie Boschman in March 1983, and it was a move that became pivotal for the team destined for greatness. Through that season’s stretch run, he scored six goals and 11 points in 10 regular season games, chipping in another 13 points in 16 playoff games. The Oilers fell to the New York Islanders in the finals that year, but now in his mid-30s, he was as hungry as the rest of the team was to get back.
He settled into a depth role on the Oilers roster packed full of talent, becoming a strong checking winger who could still put up points, being a great veteran addition. In 1983-84, he tickled the twine 22 times, while adding 38 points in 73 games.
His impact would continue to be felt into the playoffs, with five goals and 10 points in 19 games. He had a knack for scoring at the right time, including a two-goal performance in game four of the finals that year against the Islanders, helping the Oilers win that game 7-2 en route to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship.
While his goal-scoring took a step back in 1984-85 with 12 goals and 32 points in 80 games, he again found opportune times to score in the playoffs. There was no better time than in game two against of the finals against Philadelphia, scoring the game-winning goal in game two to tie the series at one.
In the pivotal game five, which saw the Oilers win 8-3 to hoist the cup in back-to-back years, Jari Kurri opened the scoring 4:54 into the game, and 40 seconds later, Lindstrom beat Bob Froese to extend the lead.
In total, 12 goals and 29 points in 53 playoff games was nothing to scoff at, considering he was a backseat player to the stars in the Oilers’ top-six. These are the kinds of moves that help put teams over the top.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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