On November 11, 1985 Pelle Lindbergh, the then-highest paid goalie in the NHL, and the pride and joy goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers was brain-dead. Lindbergh was the master of his own fate, having been drunk at the wheel, when he failed to negotiate a corner that ended up leaving 60 yards of skid marks before hitting a stone retaining wall in front of a school.
His 930 slant-nose Porsche was crushed, and the 2 people in the car with him left critically injured. Although his passengers would survive, Lindbergh did not, and he succumbed to his injuries that left the All-Star Swede in a Brain Dead state.
All of the hockey world was left shocked, and mourning this tragedy. Just months before this, Lindbergh had won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL, had narrowly been defeated in the Stanley Cup Finals by Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers, and had just signed a new contract that made him the highest paid goalie in the history of the NHL. He was 26 years old with the whole world in front of him.
But it was not meant to be. Lindbergh's blood-alcohol level was 2 times the legal limit at the time of the crash. A native of Sweden, which has some of the world's most strict drinking and driving laws, Lindbergh was rarely known to drink. But on this night, he was given a rare night off and the Flyers were on an extended unbeaten streak to start the season. That night of drinking was to change history.
Fast-forward to 2010. It has been 25 years since Lindbergh has passed away. No Flyer has ever worn his number #31, and the Flyers have paid tribute to him by creating a Pelle Lindbergh award amongst the team's players. He is still much loved and remembered by the Flyer faithful, and although his Flyers career was brief, it was spectacular. The fact that no other Flyer has been able to wear #31 is testament to the fact that The Flyer organization values his memory and contribution to the team. But I think it should be made official.
People in life get second chances, and often we get a chance to redeem ourselves from the mistakes that we make day to day. Can you imagine your world without a second chance? It's obvious that people in death do not get that chance. So today, I am starting that process for Pelle Lindbergh.
It is the highest honour that a player's jersey number is retired by the team they played for. Pelle deserves that honour, even posthumously. And the people think so too. Prior to the Redskins cornerback Sean Taylor, Pelle Lindbergh was the only player to be voted posthumously to an All-Star Game.
Please join my facebook page to show your support to retire Pelle Lindbergh's #31 jersey. Let's show the Philadelphia Flyers that this is the right move!!
Check out my facebook page below dedicated to retiring Pelle's number. Please join to show your support!!