Pelle Lindbergh

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Pelle Lindbergh
Pellelindbergh.jpg
Born (1959-05-24)May 24, 1959
Stockholm, Sweden
Died November 11, 1985(1985-11-11) (aged 26)
Somerdale, NJ, USA
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 158 lb (72 kg; 11 st 4 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for NHL
Philadelphia Flyers
AHL
Maine Mariners
Springfield Indians
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 35th overall, 1979
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 1978–1985

Göran Per-Eric "Pelle" Lindbergh (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈpɛlɛ ˈlindbærj]; May 24, 1959 – November 11, 1985) was a Swedish professional ice hockey goaltender who played parts of five seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Playing career[edit]

Having gained fame while playing for Hammarby in his youth, and while making his debut in the highest Swedish hockey league with AIK (Stockholm) leading him to the Swedish national team in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, Lindbergh set his sights on the North American game. Lindbergh owns the distinction of being the goaltender on the only team that did not lose to the gold-medal-winning Team USA at the 1980 Olympics, as Team Sweden and Team USA played to a 2–2 tie in the first game of the tournament. After being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft (second round, 35th overall), he started his North American career during the 1980–81 season by playing one and a half seasons for the Maine Mariners of the AHL before playing his first games for the Flyers in 1982. In 1983, he was named goalie of the NHL All-Rookie Team. He led the NHL with 40 victories during the 1984–85 season and won the Vezina Trophy, the first European goaltender to do so in NHL history. That same year, he was also named a First Team All-Star. Lindbergh was the first goalie to bring a water bottle on ice with him during NHL games. Lindbergh did this to combat severe dehydration he commonly suffered from. This practice first drew criticism from opponents and coaches alike, but is now the norm for NHL goaltenders.

Death[edit]

In the early morning hours of November 10, 1985, Lindbergh lost control of his customized Porsche 930 Turbo and struck a wall in front of a Somerdale, New Jersey elementary school, critically injuring himself and severely injuring his two passengers.[1] Although declared brain dead a few hours later, he was kept on life support until his father arrived from Sweden late the next day and his parents gave their permission to terminate treatment. He died on November 11 after a five-hour operation to harvest his heart and other organs for transplant.[2] At the time of the accident he had just left the Coliseum, the former practice center for the Flyers located in Voorhees Township, where he was attending a team party. He was intoxicated at the time of the accident, with a blood alcohol level of .24%, well above New Jersey's legal limit (.10%) at the time. Lindbergh topped the fan voting for the 1986 NHL All-Star Game. It would mark the first time that a player was chosen posthumously for an all-star team in a major North American team sport. Sean Taylor's selection to the 2008 Pro Bowl was the only other time this has happened. Although his number 31 was never officially retired by the Flyers, no Flyer has worn the number 31 since Lindbergh's death. Lindbergh is buried in Skogskyrkogården, a cemetery in southern Stockholm.[3]

In 2006, a Swedish biography entitled Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White Mask was written by Swedish author Thomas Tynander. An English version was published in fall 2009. The English version was translated by Bill Meltzer and published by Middle Atlantic Press.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Pelle Lindbergh
Medal record
Competitor for  Sweden
Men's Ice Hockey
Olympic Games
Bronze 1980 Lake Placid Ice hockey
World Championships
Bronze 1979 Soviet Union Ice Hockey
World Junior Championships
Silver 1978 Canada Ice Hockey

The Philadelphia Flyers named a team award, the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy, in his honor. Since the 1993–94 season it has been annually awarded to the most improved player on the team.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team League GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1977–78 Hammarby IF Swe-1 36
1978–79 Hammarby IF Swe-1 35
1978–79 AIK IF SEL 6 360 38 0 6.33
1979–80 AIK IF SEL 32 1866 106 1 3.41
1980–81 Maine Mariners AHL 51 31 14 5 3035 165 1 3.26 .893
1981–82 Maine Mariners AHL 25 17 7 2 1505 83 0 3.31 .887
1981–82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 8 2 4 2 480 35 0 4.38 .881
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 40 23 13 3 2333 116 3 2.98 .891
1983–84 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 36 16 13 3 1999 135 1 4.05 .860
1983–84 Springfield Indians AHL 4 4 0 0 240 12 0 3.00
1984–85 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 65 40 17 7 3858 194 2 3.02 .899
1985–86 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 8 6 2 0 480 23 1 2.88 .884
NHL totals 157 87 49 15 4154 503 7 3.30 .887

Playoffs[edit]

Season Team League GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
1980–81 Maine Mariners AHL 20 10 7 1120 66 0 3.54
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 3 0 3 180 18 0 6.00 .788
1983–84 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 2 0 1 26 3 0 6.92 .769
1984–85 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 18 12 6 1008 42 3 2.50 .914
NHL totals 23 12 10 1214 63 3 3.11 .893

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA
1976 Sweden EJC 3 180 4 0 1.33
1977 Sweden EJC 3 180 3 0 1.00
1978 Sweden WJC 4 240 10 0 2.50
1979 Sweden WC 6 1 4 1 360 38 0 6.33
1980 Sweden Oly 5 2 1 2 300 18 0 3.60
1981 Sweden Can-Cup 2 0 0 0 92 9 0 5.87
1983 Sweden WC 9 4 4 1 540 27 0 3.00
Junior int'l totals 6 600 17 0 1.70
Senior int'l totals 22 1292 92 0 4.27

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Flyers' Pelle Lindbergh critically injured in crash". Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ Flyers Goalie Dies; Organs Donated
  3. ^ Meltzer, Bill. "Pelle Lindbergh #31". flyershistory.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
first recipient
Winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy
1985
Succeeded by
Mark Howe
Preceded by
Tom Barrasso
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
1985
Succeeded by
John Vanbiesbrouck