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Red Wings Review: Gustav Lindstrom’s Future

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Gustav Lindstrom, Red Wings

Detroit Hockey Now’s Red Wings Review series is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2022-23 Detroit Red Wings season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the recently-completed campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Detroit. Today, we feature defenseman Gustav Lindstrom.

Gustav Lindstrom

Position: Defenseman

2022-23 totals (GP-G-A-PT): 36-1-7-8

Contract Status: Becomes a restricted free agent July 1

Season Synopsis

The Swedish media outlet Expressen reported last month that Gustav Lindstrom is already looking around Europe to see what job possibilities might be available for him for next season.

That’s not surprising, given that the 2023-23 season didn’t go particularly well for Lindstrom.

After playing 63 games for Detroit in 2021-22, he played only 36 last season. He was -16 in those games. His average playing time fell from 16:07 in 2021-22 to 14:10.

Lindstrom (Drafted 38th overall in 2017) played 22 games with Robert Hagg as his defensive partner. That third pairing had some difficult games. According to NaturalStatTrick.com,  that tandem was on the ice for nine goals for and 17 against.  Lindstrom wasn’t plus with any partner he had in 2022-23. He was -4 in 13 games with Jordan Oesterle. He was -3 with 83 minutes with Olli Maatta. Lindstrom was even -1 playing 16+ minutes with Moritz Seider.

The bottom line: Lindstrom didn’t show much improvement in 2022-23,

2022-23 Red Wings Highlights

On Feb. 13, Lindstrom scored the second goal of his NHL career during a 6-1 road win against the Vancouver Canucks.  He also added an assist for his only two-point game of the season.

2022-23 Red Wings Lowlight

In three different games (March 31 at Winnipeg, Dec.8 at Florida and Oct. 31 at Buffalo), Lindstrom was -3.  He was -7 in his last eight games of the regular-season.

On March 28, Lindstrom was announced as a goal scorer during a 7-4 win against Pittsburgh. But later, the goal was taken away from him on scoring change. It was that kind of season for Lindstrom.

 

 What Does His Detroit Future Hold?

Lindstrom has played 126 NHL games and hasn’t made as much progress as the Red Wings hoped he would. He turns 25 in October and hasn’t yet demonstrated he’s more than a No. 6 or No. 7 defenseman.

The Red Wings probably will add a veteran defenseman or two through free agency or trade this summer. They also may need roster spots for Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson.

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One plus for Lindstrom is that he is a right-shot defenseman. Those are in short supply in the Red Wings’ organization. But that by itself isn’t enough. The Red Wings are looking to upgrade their defensive group. They may have told Lindstrom that during his exit interview or he just senses it.  That would explain why he is already looking for work in Europe.