WILKES-BARRE — When Tobias Lindberg was traded to the Pittsburgh organization on Feb. 23 as part of the deal to acquire Derick Brassard, he found himself in a unique position.
While he officially became a part of the Pittsburgh organization, Lindberg remained with his AHL team, the Chicago Wolves, for the remainder of the season.
“It was unusual,” Lindberg said.
After the trade, the 23-year-old from Sweden received some reassurance that Pittsbrugh truly did want him when he signed a one-year, two-way contract for the 2018-19 season.
The trade to Pittsburgh marked the second time that Lindberg was moved last season. On Oct. 6 he was traded to the Las Vegas organization by Toronto.
Now, Lindberg is hoping for some stability as he tries to work his way back to the NHL.
“Two trades last season. That’s not something I’m hoping for this year,” Lindberg said.
But rather than dwell on the adversity, Lindberg is focusing on the positives he gained from last season. With the Wolves, Lindberg played center for the first time as a pro. That experience was a chance for Lindberg to prove he can play in the middle or either wing position, an attribute that adds to his value.
He also feels he made strides defensively last season while notching a career-high 10 goals and 23 points in 64 games.
Still, there’s more to Lindberg’s game than versatility, scoring and defense.
He can be a bit feisty as well.
During a scrimmage in Pittsburgh’s training camp last week, Lindberg opened some eyes when he laid a hard hit on Sam Lafferty and they followed it up with a bit of shoving.
Lindberg cautioned that he isn’t a fighter, but he is willing to battle.
“I don’t like to lose. If that comes into play, I want to try to win for whatever price,” Lindberg said. “I like to battle and win my share.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton coach Clark Donatelli described Lindberg as a skilled forward with great hands and a lot of upside. Lindberg said he worked hard this summer on his conditioning, and Donatelli backed up the claim by pointing out his physical testing at Pittsburgh’s camp was “really strong.”
Lindberg, who has six NHL games under his belt with Toronto, said he hopes Pittsburgh is aware of how hard he worked over the summer to come into training camp in shape.
And he hopes the organization remembers him when it comes time for a call-up during the season.
“Everybody wants the opportunity to show what they can do. I hope I made a good impression (at training camp),” he said.
Training camp notes
• During the summer, Teddy Blueger could only watch as Pittsburgh continually added to its depth at the center position.
After posting an impressive 21 goals and 45 points in his second full season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Blueger hoped it would be his turn for a shot with Pittsburgh. But when he was among 18 players assigned to AHL camp on Monday, Blueger knew he would have to wait a bit longer.
“Just a little frustrating, to be honest,” Blueger said when asked about the center depth. “Not just for me, but for several guys. But that’s just the way it goes. It’s a business and you have to focus on yourself.”
Blueger said he spent the summer improving his skating and shot quickness and added he’s willing to play wing if that’s what gets him to Pittsburgh.
“I feel like I’m ready to play up there,” Blueger said. “Whatever I need to do to get up there, I’ll do.”
• Ryan Haggerty signed a two-year, two-way NHL deal with Pittsburgh on Tuesday. He wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday and needs to clear waivers by noon on Wednesday before he can join the AHL camp. The deal comes after Haggerty posted career highs last season with 16 goals and 37 points in 47 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
“It’s a tribute to him, his character, and an example for some of these young guys that anything’s possible,” Donatelli said. “If you’re playing well you’re going to get rewarded. Hard work does pay off.”
• Wednesday’s practice will be split into two groups with a scrimmage, according to Donatelli.
Reach Tom Venesky at 570-991-6395 or on Twitter @TomVenesky