An Olympic medalist with a Fort Frances pedigree will join the elite athletic performers in the history of this region.
It was announced last Wednesday (Aug. 5) that Fort native Chris Lindberg will be among the newest members entering the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 34th annual induction ceremonies on Sept. 26 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay.
Lindberg, 48, will join the hall in the “Professional Athlete” category.
He established himself as one of the best players the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association has ever produced and was a member of the Muskies’ 1984 and 1985 OFSAA silver medal-winning teams.
The forward went on to play one year with the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins before spending the next two seasons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs from 1987-89, where he scored 27 goals and 28 assists for 55 points in 71 games, along with 87 penalty minutes.
Lindberg moved on to play the following year with the Virginia Lancers of the ECHL, where he had 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points in 26 games. adding another three assists in four playoff games.
He then joined the Binghamton (N.Y.) Whalers of the AHL before the season was out and played another 32 games, posting four goals and four assists for eight points.
Lindberg made his career breakthrough when he was chosen Canada’s national men’s squad in 1990.
He proved to be a key offensive weapon for the team, racking up 25 goals and 31 assists for 56 points in 55 games in the 1990-91 season while also seeing one game of action with the AHL’s Springfield Indians.
Lindberg had his most memorable season in 1991-92.
He notched 33 goals and 35 assists for 68 points in 56 games with the national team in preparation for the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France.
At the games, Lindberg had one goal and four assists for five points in eight games in helping Canada claim the silver medal at the Olympics.
To make his year even better, his work with the national team drew the interest of the Calgary Flames, who signed the undrafted forward and received two goals and five assists for seven points in 17 games for their trouble.
Lindberg had his best NHL year in 1992-93, which started with him being claimed by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL Expansion Draft.
But two days later, he was on his way back to Cowtown in exchange for defenceman Mark Osiecki.
Lindberg collected nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points in 62 games and added one assist in two playoff games for the Flames.
The 1993-94 campaign saw him suit up for the Quebec Nordiques in what would be his last NHL season, as he has six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 37 games.
With the NHL not banging down his door, Lindberg looked across the Atlantic and wound up playing professionally another 10 seasons in Germany, Switzerland and Austria before retiring in 2005.
Sprinkled into that list was an 18-game stint with the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Griffins of the International Hockey League in 1997-98, where he had eight goals and 14 assists for 22 points.
Lindberg also squeezed in nine more games in 1999-2000 with the national team, for which he also helped win two Spengler Cup titles.
His final NHL totals came in at 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points in 116 regular-season games with 47 penalty minutes and one extra assist in two playoff games.
Lindberg currently helps his wife run a group of children’s daycare facilities in their present home of Calgary.
Tickets for the induction ceremonies can be ordered by calling 1-807-622-2852 or by going in person to the hall at 219 May St. S. in Thunder Bay.