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Pelle Lindbergh: 30 Years ago today


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http://www.flyerdelphia.com/2015/11/remembering-pelle-lindbergh-30-years-later.html

 

 

Remembering Pelle Lindbergh: 30 Years Later

 

 

Pelle-Lindbergh-245-1959-1111-1985.jpg

It is a date that lives in Flyers infamy.

In the early morning hours of November 10, 1985, Flyers star goaltender Pelle Lindbergh crashed his red Porsche in Voorhees, NJ. The crash left him brain dead, and he died at age 26 the next day on November 11.

Lindbergh was born in Stockholm, Sweden on May 24, 1959. Standing at just 5'9", especially small for a goaltender, and weighing in at 158 pounds, Lindbergh was already defying the odds when he played in Sweden's highest league at just 18, he was the goaltender for the Swedish national team at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. That team came away with the Bronze medal.

Lindbergh was the rising star for the Flyers, the goalie who swooped in and in the 1984-85 season, emerged as a true No. 1, mentored by Hall-0f-Fame goalie Bernie Parent, won 40 games with a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy that season, he was the first winner of theBobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP and the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Final only to fall to Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. 

That was in May. He was presented with the Vezina in June. And less than five months later, it was all over.

The tragedy is that at the start of the 1985-86 season, Lindbergh was repeating his success from the previous season. The Flyers had finished 1984-85 with a 53-20-7 record. Through 14 games of the 1985-86 season, they were 12-2-0. Lindbergh had started eight of those games, going 6-2-0 with a 2.88 GAA and .884 save percentage. His last game was November 7, a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. It was his 99th career NHL win -- regular season and playoffs combined.

On the night of November 9, 1985, Lindbergh had 87 wins in 157 regular-season games, posting a 3.30 GAA and .887 save percentage, an overall record of 99-59-15 -- regular season and playoffs combined -- and 10 career shutouts. 

The memory of Lindbergh lived on through the 1985-86 season and beyond. The Flyers wore black shoulder patches with the No. 31. Since Lindbergh's untimely death, no Flyer has worn the number. Annually, the Flyers present the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Award to the most improved player on the team.

Still 30 years later, Lindbergh's legacy lives on. Though he didn't truly emerge as a star goalie until his third season in 1984-85, his brief four-year career still garners as much attention in Flyers lore as Parent before him and Ron Hextall after him. Since then, the Flyers have been riding a goalie carousel, looking for a steady No. 1. 

It seems fitting that on a night when the Flyers will mark the 30th anniversary of Lindbergh's passing that the 2015-16 team has two very capable goalies performing well this season in Steve Mason andMichal Neuvirth.

In honor of the memory of Pelle Lindbergh, we'd like to share a couple of links from friends and colleagues of the site.

Our friend Bruce "Scoop" Cooper penned this personal and touching piece about Lindbergh last year on the 29th anniversary of his death and shared it again this year.

Flyerdelphia columnist Bill Meltzer did extensive research for a book entitled Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White MaskYou can read an excerpt from the book here and get it on Barnes and Noble orAmazon.

 

 

 

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30 years ago today, Flyers organization and fans lost the fan favourite Pelle Lindbergh to a tragic accident that was his doing. They officially took him off life support the next day. Flyers fans over the years have wondered if Pelle would have led the Flyers to a Stanley Cup but we'll never know. Drinking and driving is never right and he lost his life because of it. It's too bad he didn't make a better choice then getting behind the wheel. But it would be nice if the Flyers can find a goalie like Pelle to be in the nets to play over the next decade.

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http://www.flyerdelphia.com/2015/11/remembering-pelle-lindbergh-30-years-later.html

 

 

Remembering Pelle Lindbergh: 30 Years Later

 

 

Pelle-Lindbergh-245-1959-1111-1985.jpg

It is a date that lives in Flyers infamy.

In the early morning hours of November 10, 1985, Flyers star goaltender Pelle Lindbergh crashed his red Porsche in Voorhees, NJ. The crash left him brain dead, and he died at age 26 the next day on November 11.

Lindbergh was born in Stockholm, Sweden on May 24, 1959. Standing at just 5'9", especially small for a goaltender, and weighing in at 158 pounds, Lindbergh was already defying the odds when he played in Sweden's highest league at just 18, he was the goaltender for the Swedish national team at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid. That team came away with the Bronze medal.

Lindbergh was the rising star for the Flyers, the goalie who swooped in and in the 1984-85 season, emerged as a true No. 1, mentored by Hall-0f-Fame goalie Bernie Parent, won 40 games with a 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage. He won the Vezina Trophy that season, he was the first winner of theBobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP and the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Final only to fall to Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. 

That was in May. He was presented with the Vezina in June. And less than five months later, it was all over.

The tragedy is that at the start of the 1985-86 season, Lindbergh was repeating his success from the previous season. The Flyers had finished 1984-85 with a 53-20-7 record. Through 14 games of the 1985-86 season, they were 12-2-0. Lindbergh had started eight of those games, going 6-2-0 with a 2.88 GAA and .884 save percentage. His last game was November 7, a 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. It was his 99th career NHL win -- regular season and playoffs combined.

On the night of November 9, 1985, Lindbergh had 87 wins in 157 regular-season games, posting a 3.30 GAA and .887 save percentage, an overall record of 99-59-15 -- regular season and playoffs combined -- and 10 career shutouts. 

The memory of Lindbergh lived on through the 1985-86 season and beyond. The Flyers wore black shoulder patches with the No. 31. Since Lindbergh's untimely death, no Flyer has worn the number. Annually, the Flyers present the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Award to the most improved player on the team.

Still 30 years later, Lindbergh's legacy lives on. Though he didn't truly emerge as a star goalie until his third season in 1984-85, his brief four-year career still garners as much attention in Flyers lore as Parent before him and Ron Hextall after him. Since then, the Flyers have been riding a goalie carousel, looking for a steady No. 1. 

It seems fitting that on a night when the Flyers will mark the 30th anniversary of Lindbergh's passing that the 2015-16 team has two very capable goalies performing well this season in Steve Mason andMichal Neuvirth.

In honor of the memory of Pelle Lindbergh, we'd like to share a couple of links from friends and colleagues of the site.

Our friend Bruce "Scoop" Cooper penned this personal and touching piece about Lindbergh last year on the 29th anniversary of his death and shared it again this year.

Flyerdelphia columnist Bill Meltzer did extensive research for a book entitled Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White MaskYou can read an excerpt from the book here and get it on Barnes and Noble orAmazon.

 

 

 

 

Rux, you beat me to it. Nice post.

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Same day as the wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald 10 years later

Yes, I remember that night in 1975, it was a hell of a storm in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and Lake Superior was nasty from the news reports, the Fitzgerald and its crew didn't stand a chance.

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wpid-pellel.jpg?w=470

 

RIP Per-Eric.  I only knew you for 1 year but have not stopped thinking of you the last 30.

 

For tonight's game I threw in my bag (as I change at work and go straight to the games) my Tim Kerr jersey, the only one I own with the black 31 shoulder patch on it.  I didn't do it on purpose but how appropriate for this sad anniversary.

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I still have a #31 jersey with his name on it.  It hasn't been out in years and years (and, honestly, 30 years later it couldn't begin to fit me!)

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A good read. 

 

 

I got my first Philadelphia Flyers jersey in 1988, when I was nine years old and just starting fourth grade. Goalie Ron Hextall and winger Rick Tocchet were my favorite players, but since a lot of kids at school already had their jerseys, and I didn’t want to be called the 1980s elementary school lingo equivalent of a copycat, I went with No. 12 for 50-goal scorer Timmy Kerr. Maybe he was prematurely past his prime due to injuries, he was a respectable choice nonetheless. There was one thing, however, that kept my jersey from being as cool as the other kids’ at school: the absence of a small black “31” sewn into the left shoulder.

The patch memorialized Pelle Lindbergh, the Flyers’ starting goaltender who died 30 years ago this November at the beginning of the 1985-86 season. I wanted to be just like the other kids with the “31” on their shoulders, but my father wouldn’t let me because Pelle Lindbergh died while driving drunk.

 

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R.I.P Pelle - I remember almost being in shock at the news.

 

I was numb as I read the article......

 

Has it been 30 years now.....wow

 

I still remember the day.  I was in high school and coming down to eat breakfast and to get ready for shool.  I opened up to the sports page and let out a very loud "OH NO".  I had tears coming down the side of my cheeks when my parents asked what was wrong........  

 

What a sad day for all Flyer fans...so many what ifs left unanswered.

 

RIP Pelle ....you are still missed!

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I was numb as I read the article......

Has it been 30 years now.....wow

I still remember the day. I was in high school and coming down to eat breakfast and to get ready for shool. I opened up to the sports page and let out a very loud "OH NO". I had tears coming down the side of my cheeks when my parents asked what was wrong........

What a sad day for all Flyer fans...so many what ifs left unanswered.

RIP Pelle ....you are still missed!

Yeah, I remember it coming across as "breaking news" on channel 10 Philly (a CBS affiliate back then). It was sometime in the evening. First, he had been in an accident and then that he was brain dead.

Oh my god. I remember running up the stairs screaming at my parents (I think I was a junior in high school). I'm not sure they quite understood me.

It was kind of one of those defining moments. I had a year or so before that had a friend die out of nowhere (brain aneurysm. I was 15, she was a couple years younger), and friends murdered several years before that, so it wasn't my first exposure to such things, but this was huge to me.

Cannot believe it's 30 years.

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The thing that strikes me -- well, one of the things -- from the article above SAS his GAA and save percentage. The difference in era is astounding.

Then,.899 and 3.02 got you a Vezina. Now, it gets you a tryout in the KHL.

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I had a year or so before that had a friend die out of nowhere

 

A year later I had a friend die in a car accident he was either 16 or 17 at the time.  He was gonna go to med school.  The driver had alcohol in his system and walked away from the wreck...my friend didn't.  Still pi$$es me off to this day and it has been about 30 years ago.

 


Then,.899 and 3.02 got you a Vezina. Now, it gets you a tryout in the KHL.

 

Yeah..how times have changed.....

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  I got the news from a Leaf fan, all I remember was uncontrollable laughing and somebody screaming on the other end of the phone saying "YOUR GOALIE IS DEAD"...it really set the tone for Leaf hatred for me. Later that season the Flyers beat the Leafs and I spent damn near 50 bucks on black toilet paper and covered that sick bastards car more times than I could recall.

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uncontrollable laughing and somebody screaming on the other end of the phone saying "YOUR GOALIE IS DEAD

 

what a sick bastard...seriously...that dude is effed in the head....Yeah I would hate the Leafs to after that....I personally would have egged his car first then wrap the toilet paper around it...it would have stuck better and would have been a real PIA to take off when it dried. :crazysmile::devil:

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@pilldoc  The same guy years later said the child abuse scandal at Maple Leafs Gardens was "not that bad" cause "they were Red Wing kids".....pretty sick sense of humor....the whole Chrsyler plant in Windsor seems to be like that....it is the home of cold, callous humor at it's very worst.

Edited by jammer2
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he whole Chrsyler plant in Windsor seems to be like that.

 

Really kind of glad, then, to have yet another reason to never buy a Chrysler product.  It's actually an exhaustive list, but your story goes very close to the top.

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I was numb as I read the article......

 

Has it been 30 years now.....wow

 

I still remember the day.  I was in high school and coming down to eat breakfast and to get ready for shool.  I opened up to the sports page and let out a very loud "OH NO".  I had tears coming down the side of my cheeks when my parents asked what was wrong........  

 

What a sad day for all Flyer fans...so many what ifs left unanswered.

 

RIP Pelle ....you are still missed!

I still have the article from the paper.   :(

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Pelle was 5'9"!!!!!

 

Excuse the shameless thread crossover...... but it just goes to show you WHY the nets were made to be 6x4 one hundred years ago. They were BIG nets relative to the size of people at the time. A century of evolution has increased the average height by almost a foot. It seems that humanity has OUTGROWN the dimensions of the NHL game. :o

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Excuse the shameless thread crossover...... but it just goes to show you WHY the nets were made to be 6x4 one hundred years ago. They were BIG nets relative to the size of people at the time. A century of evolution has increased the average height by almost a foot. It seems that humanity has OUTGROWN the dimensions of the NHL game. :o

The humanity!

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For as great as Hextall was in 1987, if Kerr is healthy and the rookie version of Pelle is in net, the Flyers beat the Oilers in the SCF. In 1985, the Oilers were just flat out the better hockey team. Back then with great offenses, Pelle's .899 save % and a 3.03 GAA were great.

Edited by FD19372
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