You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Pelle Lindbergh

Pelle Lindbergh

Full name: Göran Per-Eric "Pelle" Lindbergh
Gender: Male
Height: 5'9" (174 cm)
Weight: 157 lbs (71 kg)
Born: May 24, 1959 in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 11, 1985 in Somerdale, New Jersey, United States
Affiliations: AIK, Solna (SWE)
Country: SWE Sweden
Sport: Ice Hockey

Medals: 1 Bronze (1 Total)

Other SR Links: Hockey-Reference.com

Biography

Pelle Lindbergh is considered one of the best ever Swedish goaltenders. Lindbergh had a very successful junior career with Hammarby IF and the national junior team. He won silver at the 1978 and bronze at the 1979 World Junior Championships and was named as the best goalie and was selected to the all-star team in 1978. He won gold at the 1977 and silver at the 1976 European Junior Championships and was named as the best goalie at both of these tournaments. In 1979, Lindbergh made a successful transfer to the senior level and began playing with AIK. He was soon selected to the Swedish national team and, as a back-up goalie for Sune Ödling, won bronze at the 1979 World Championships, which also doubled as a bronze at the European Championships. But at the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lindbergh was the top Swedish goalie and owns the distinction of being the goaltender on the only team that did not lose to the gold-medal-winning United States at the 1980 Olympics, as Sweden and the USA played to a 2–2 tie.

After being drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft, Lindbergh started his North American career after the Winter Olympics by playing 1½ seasons for the Flyers’ AHL affiliate Maine Mariners. He was selected as an AHL First Team All-Star in 1981 and that year won the Hap Holmes Memorial Award as the goaltender with the lowest goals against average, Red Garrett Memorial Award as the rookie-of-the-year and the Les Cunningham Award as the regular season MVP. After joining the Flyers in 1982, Lindbergh was selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1983 and played in the 1983 NHL All-Star game. In 1983, he played at the Worlds, finishing fourth, and earned another bronze at the Europeans.

Lindbergh led the NHL with 40 victories during the 1984-85 season and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie, becoming the first European goaltender to win that award. That same year, he was also selected as an NHL First Team All-Star and played at the 1985 NHL All-Star game. After having established himself as one of the world’s top goalies, Lindbergh started the 1985-86 season with six victories in eight games with the Flyers.

But in the early morning hours of 10 November 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. 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 11 November after a five-hour operation to harvest his heart and other organs for transplant. At the time of the accident he had just left the Coliseum, the former practice center for the Flyers, where he was attending a team party, and he was found to be intoxicated at the time of the accident. After his death, Lindbergh topped the fan voting for the 1986 NHL All-Star Game and it is the only time that a player was chosen posthumously for an NHL all-star team. Since 1994, the Flyers give a Pelle Lindbergh Trophy to the most improved player on the team, voted by team members.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Men's Ice Hockey Sweden SWE 3 Bronze

Men's Ice Hockey

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G AST PIM S S%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Final Standings 3 1980-02-12 0 0 0 132 88.0%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Final Round Match #2 1T 1980-02-22 SWE 3, FIN 3 0 0 0 22 88.0%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Final Round Match #4 2 1980-02-24 URS 9, SWE 2 0 0 0 19 67.9%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Group B Match #3 1T 1980-02-12 USA 2, SWE 2 0 0 0 27 93.1%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Group B Match #9 1 1980-02-16 SWE 5, FRG 2 0 0 0 23 92.0%
1980 Winter 20 Lake Placid Ice Hockey Sweden SWE Group B Match #14 1 1980-02-20 SWE 4, TCH 2 0 0 0 41 95.3%