The Canadian | Gustav Lindström: from the couch to the Bell Center

Gustav Lindström was well installed at home Monday evening, watching the Canadian’s game against the Sabres, when he saw David Savard fall in combat.

The phone rang immediately afterwards.

“I was on the couch and the next day, I was in the NHL! », Explained the young defender, smiling, Tuesday evening at the Bell Centre.

From the couch to the NHL, that sums up the last weeks of Lindström, who was waiting at the Rocket in Laval waiting for this phone call that didn’t come. But Savard’s injury changed everything for him in an instant.

“That’s how it works, you have to be ready for anything when you play professional hockey,” he added. I would even say that you have to be ready at all times, because you never know what could happen. »

You never know, in fact, and Gustav Lindström learned this bit of truth the hard way in Detroit.

A second-round pick by the Red Wings in the 2017 draft, the young man showed up there with the confidence of a puck-moving defenseman; he recalls that in his last season among the pros in Sweden, in 2020-2021, he was a defender with offensive flair, capable of playing on the numerical advantage. He had also obtained 11 points in 20 matches with the Almtuna club.

“In my last season in Sweden, I often played on the power play, but when I arrived in Detroit, there was Moritz Seider who played on the first unit on the power play, and other defensemen as well who had been high draft picks and who played in these situations. By force of circumstances, I became a more defensive defender with them, without really playing five against four.

“So I consider what is happening to me here with the Canadian as a new beginning. Last season in Detroit, I think we spent the entire season with eight defensemen in the lineup. There weren’t really any injuries, so I’d play a game and no matter how well I did, I’d then be in the stands for two weeks. That’s why I’m happy to be here, it’s a new start, like I said. »

Lindström, obtained last August from the Red Wings during the exchange of another defenseman, Jeff Petry, of course hopes to be able to stay at the Bell Center as long as possible. At 25, he believes he can provide the Canadian with a certain physical presence, in addition to being able to restart the attack when necessary. He started Tuesday’s game against the New Jersey Devils on the team’s third defensive pairing, alongside Arber Xhekaj.

In four seasons in the red and white jersey of the Wings in Detroit, he has never been able to afford a full season of play, whose 63 games played in 2021-2022 represent a career high. Last season, he had to settle for 36 games with the Wings, collecting 1 goal and 7 assists, for a total of 8 points.

This is why he hopes for many more matches like the one on Tuesday evening, his first in a CH uniform. Plus, it turns out he’s liked the place for a long time.

“I loved playing at the Bell Center when I was with the Red Wings, it was one of my favorite places on the road,” he added. It’s always loud here, and the fans are amazing, so it’s good to finally be on board! »

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