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Max Nason The Hockey Writers

Published on Sunday, June 28, 2020





Flyers’ Lindblom Back on the Ice & It’s Great to See

Just over six months ago, Philadelphia Flyers’ 23 year-old forward Oskar Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that targets the bones and soft tissue around the bones, ending his 2019-20 season. The news of his diagnosis rocked the hockey world and especially the Flyers family.

Oskar Lindblom Philadelphia Flyers
Oskar Lindblom, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Since then, through the pause of the NHL and the rest of the sports world, Lindblom has progressed well through his treatment and is now starting to give fans some flashes of hope for his eventual return.

Related: Pennsylvania Hockey – A Long, Proud History

Most recently, Lindblom took the ice for a closed practice at the Flyers’ Skate Zone in Vorhees, New Jersey for his first full-equipment skate since his diagnosis. He’s still got a significant hill left to climb before he’s ready to go, but getting some time back on the ice is an incredible sign for the progress that he has made.

Back on the Ice

For how long it’s been since Lindblom suited up to skate, and considering the physical toll his body has paid throughout his treatment, he looked great in Vorhees. General manager Chuck Fletcher reassured some questions about the facilities’ procedures during the pandemic, for the sake of Lindblom’s safety.

“Obviously, Phase 2 is voluntary and every player and staff member must follow very strict guidelines and rules. Our practice facility is a very safe environment, safer than most places,” Fletcher told Jordan Hall of NBC Sports.

Lindblom’s skating looked fantastic, he gave a small show of where his stickhandling skills are, and had some solid power behind his shot. There’s obviously still a gap between where he is today and where he needs to be in order to make a return to the lineup, but as he’s finishing the final stages of his treatment he seems to be in a great place physically.

Depending on how the next stage of the NHL’s return-to-play plan turns out, Lindblom should be able to get out on the ice for more practice sessions and soon get back to full strength.

Lindblom Earns A Masterton Nomination

As is the case every year, a player from each team is nominated by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” For the Philadelphia PHWA Chapter, Lindblom was the obvious choice for the nomination.

There is really no way to properly honor the strength and perseverance that Lindblom has shown in his fight with Ewing’s Sarcoma, but the Masterton Trophy would be a solid start. Once the list is narrowed down, it should come as no surprise to see Lindblom included in the final three.

What’s Next For Lindblom

Seeing Lindblom on the ice was an incredible display of the progress he’s made in his recovery and his desire to get back to the game. While he’s made some tremendous strides and is nearing the end of his treatment, there is still a long road ahead of him.

Related: The Ice Rink – A Brief History

We likely won’t be seeing Lindblom back in the lineup at least until the 2020-21 season. Expecting him to be ready to go by the start of next season is certainly optimistic, but considering the way he’s progressed through his recovery, it’d be hard to put that past him.

Sean Couturier Oskar Lindblom Philippe Myers
Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Couturier celebrates with Philippe Myers and Oskar Lindblom (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to see Lindblom compete with the Flyers in the restructured postseason and finish the amazing season that he helped start, but obviously, his health moving forward is priority number one.

The fact that Lindblom is skating just over six months after his diagnosis is a tremendous accomplishment. He has been the spark and inspiration of a surprisingly great Flyers’ season and the entire hockey community remains behind him as he continues his recovery.

All in all, it was an incredible sight to see Lindblom back in his gear, skating with his teammates, and smiling on the ice once again.

The post Flyers’ Lindblom Back on the Ice & It’s Great to See appeared first on The Hockey Writers.


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