Tobias Lindberg goes from trade throw-in to Penguins prospect
Tobias Lindberg has been a member of the Penguins organization for four months now.
“I have. Nobody knew about it,” Lindberg joked at development camp Thursday morning in Cranberry.
Lindberg was involved in the Derick Brassard deal at least year's trade deadline, but at the time, he was considered nothing more than a throw-in required to be sent from Vegas to the Penguins to make the particulars of the complicated, three-way trade meet league approval.
After the trade, Lindberg didn't even change addresses. He had been playing with Vegas' AHL affiliate in Chicago, which was a first-place team that didn't necessarily want to part with one of its top-nine forwards. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton didn't have a pressing need up front, so both NHL clubs decided to leave Lindberg be.
That was fine with Lindberg. He liked playing in Chicago. It didn't bode well for his future with the Penguins, however. If they didn't bother sending him to their AHL team in Wilkes-Barre, how interested could they really be in keeping him in the organization once he hit restricted free agency this summer?
As it turned out, they were very interested.
The team had Lindberg in for a few days at the end of last season and indicated that they'd like to keep him around. He signed a one-year deal earlier this month.
“When I finally met with Pittsburgh, those two days after the season, I was glad with what they told me,” Lindberg said. “They wanted to give me a chance.”
Now, Lindberg is part of a group of forwards ticketed for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the fall who will compete for call-up spots once injuries start to hit. He has a sturdy, 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame, can play both center and wing and has six games of NHL experience with Toronto in 2015-16.
“Try to do whatever the coach wants me to do, if that's offense or defense,” Lindberg said.
And try to stay off the transaction wires for a little while. In addition to the Brassard trade, Lindberg was also a part of the deals that sent Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa and goalie Calvin Pickard to Toronto.
“I'm not that nervous, but my entourage around me – my family and my friends – they're the ones keeping track and letting me know if I'm up on the trade board,” Lindberg joked.