The way Tobias Lindberg became a Penguin was… unorthodox. Part of a trade last February that saw him dealt by Vegas to Pittsburgh, Lindberg was swept up in a 24-hour whirlwhind that ultimately kept him exactly where he already was.
When the dust settled, Lindberg remained with Vegas’ AHL affiliate on loan and played out the rest of the season with the Chicago Wolves.
“When the general manager (Jim Rutherford) called me, he said to me, ‘This is a very complicated trade, one that I’ve never seen before,’” Lindberg recalled of the day he was technically dealt to the Penguins. “I didn’t try to let it bother me. I didn’t want to think about it too much. I’m just going to go crazy. I said whatever you guys want me to do, I’ll do it.”
For the time, that meant staying with a different club’s AHL affiliate, but Rutherford has since made it clear that what they want Lindberg to do is be a part of the Penguins’ future.
Lindberg re-signed with Pittsburgh prior to development camp, suggesting that he’s in their plans as a prospect. He might be skating for the Steel City someday, but he’s likely to stop in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton first. The Swedish forward is totally game for a stint in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“To me, it doesn’t matter where I play. I just want to play a lot,” Lindberg said. “You see [Pittsburgh] has a lot of young guys that come up from Wilkes-Barre. When I was playing in Toronto, we played Wilkes-Barre and saw they always had a good team. If Wilkes-Barre is where I play, I’ll be fortunate to play there. Hopefully, I take on a leading role and play a lot.”
That most recent trade is just another chapter in what has been an eventful career for Lindberg. He has been traded three different times, once from Ottawa to Toronto, then Toronto to Vegas, and most recently Vegas to Pittsburgh, he won a Memorial Cup before turning pro, and has six NHL games under his belt already, too. All of these experiences have made Lindberg much more mature than your average 22-year-old.
“I still look at myself as a young player, even though I’ve packed in a lot in a few years,” he said. “It’s been a lot of trades, a lot of new cities, a lot of new teammates, a lot of injuries. I feel like I’ve learned to be more calm and work on getting a little better every summer and every day, I’m going to play in the NHL some day.”
Even if his path to the show has been full of sharp turns and changes in direction, maybe he can fully realize that dream now that he’s officially a Penguin.
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