Like so many of us, I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, and to see the exodus of Leafs players begin. Today is has started as Joakim Lindstrom has left Toronto so he can go global and take his talents to St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL.
Joakim Lindstrom’s third NHL stint is over. He’s signed with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 1, 2015
Lindstrom leaves behind a proud legacy as a Leaf. He taught us that you can’t just get a late round draft pick for Olli Jokinen, you’ve got to take back a player that the GM forgot to put on waivers the previous day.
There were many exciting moments in Joakim’s 19 games as a Leaf.
Who will forget the time we learned of the trade and all had to rush to HockeyDb to find out who the hell he was?
And who will forget the time when you saw his age on HockeyDb and immediately realized that there was no upside to him and we’d be going through the motions of him in the lineup until April?
There were all those times he took the pregame skate, but you still wouldn’t be sure if he dressed for the actual game.
Of course there was this…
There were the times he was on the second power play unit and you knew you were watching a historically bad Leafs team.
There were all the times he was sitting on the bench and he’d anticipate heading on the ice, but then the coach said “no.”
You may remember his goal, but will you sing songs of his three assists as well? I hope so. They are burned into my brain as I often had to go back to wonder “when did Lindstrom touch the puck?”
And of course you’ll remember how you struggled with the spelling of his name after years of training yourself to spell “Lidstrom”.
Like Jamie Lundmark, Jeff Hamilton, and Brayden Irwin, Joakim was never given a chance to succeed in Toronto. I’ll stay awake at nights questioning “why couldn’t he have been better friends with Kessel?”
We bid you a fond adieu Joakim Lindstrom. If you ever return to the Air Canada Centre my only hope is that you are wearing a Bruins uniform.