GLENDALE, AZ - Blues forward Joakim Lindstrom spent parts of five seasons in the NHL, where he registered 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 97 career games with the Blue Jackets, Coyotes and Avalanche.
In 2009, he left the NHL and split time between the Kontinental Hockey League and the Swedish Hockey League. In the last two seasons with Skelleftea AIK, he helped lead his team to two consecutive titles. He also helped Sweden to a bronze medal with 11 points in the 2014 IIHF World Championships.
In three games with the Blues, Lindstrom already has his first goal and has found a place on a line alongside Paul Stastny and his good friend, Alexander Steen.
We caught up with Lindstrom on Friday after practice to get to know him a bit. Here is our Q&A.
STLOUISBLUES.COM: When the Blues reached out to you about an opportunity to come back to the NHL, what were your initial thoughts?
JOAKIM LINDSTROM: It was great. It’s great to be back to play in the NHL. In the end, that’s where I wanted to play, and to get the opportunity to come back and compete with and against the best players in the world, it’s very exciting.
BLUES: Did you know much about the city and the team?
JL: I played against them in the past, but I didn’t know a whole lot about the city and the organization. I talked frequently with Alex Steen, a good friend of mine. He told me his thoughts about St. Louis, the team and their style of play. Talking to him kinda got me an idea of what was to come.
BLUES: It’s early, but have you found the Blues to be a good fit for you?
JL: It’s a very good team, one of the top teams in the league the last few years. Coming in, for me, is very exciting to be a part of this. I’m very happy to play here and try to help the team as best as I can.
BLUES: You’ve played with several teams in your hockey career. Is your first goal in a new uniform really special? And walk us through your first goal as a Blue last week against Calgary.
JL: It’s very special to get the first one for a team. It’s good for me, and it was a nice goal as well. Steener and Stastny were setting me up pretty nicely and it was an empty net for me, so that one was pretty nice.
BLUES: Last season, you won the Swedish Hockey League’s MVP and helped your team to a second consecutive title. What do you take away from an experience like that?
JL: I think it was good, especially the playoff runs that we had along with the ups and downs. I definitely learned a lot from playing there and being part of that.
BLUES: You said in interviews at training camp that you’re a different player than you were when you debuted in the NHL back in the 2005-06 season. How so?
JL: I think I’m a better player now than I was at the time. I’m physically more mature than I was. I’m stronger, faster and I think definitely my skating has been improving. From experience, you learn over the years. I feel like I’m a better player.
BLUES: Tell us a little-known fact about yourself. Can you sing or play an instrument, anything like that?
JL: I’m definitely not a singer, I know that. Or a dancer. I just like to hang out with my family and friends, I’m a big sports guy. I’m a pretty easy-going guy. That’s pretty much it.
BLUES: Your Twitter bio says you’re a father, husband, brother, son and everything else after that. Safe to assume you’re a family man?
JL: Yeah, I’d say so. I just like to hang out with my family. My time with them is special. I have a wife and two kids (Olivia, 3, and Hudson, 1).
BLUES: If we searched your phone, what sort of music would we find on there?
JL: I have a new phone, so I don’t have any music yet. But (I listen to) a little bit of everything, probably a little country, a little rock. That’s pretty much what you’d find.
BLUES: You’re joining a team that has high expectations and expects to go deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. What are your individual expectations towards helping the team reach that goal?
JL: I’m just going to try to contribute in the best way I can, each and every day. Just putting a big effort in for the team and being a good teammate.