Oskar Lindblom has been one of the best stories for not only the Flyers, but the entire hockey world. He returned to play in a few playoff games last season after battling cancer, and played in 50 games this season.
Lindblom simply playing this season was an incredible feat, and he played pretty well at times, too. He wasn’t at the level that he was prior to his diagnosis, but he was giving it his all through a brutal schedule.
Lindblom talked about his friendship with Robert Hagg, how proud he is of himself to return after all he’s been through, his excitement to play in front of a full crowd again, and more in his exit interview last week.
Oskar Lindblom Exit Interview
Just how important has Robert Hagg been to you, especially throughout this season?
He’s been there, even before everything happened with my sickness and all that. Since I got here my first time, he’s been always been there for me and helped me a lot with stuff you don’t think about outside the rink. Helped me get around and all that. He’s been a big part of the start of my career here. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me. As well his girlfriend, Klara, has been there a lot for me too. They’re great persons and unbelievable friends for me.
How much harder was returning to play given the relentless schedule? How close do you think you got physically to where you were before cancer?
That schedule didn’t help. I felt like the recovery part was a big part that I was struggling with. I felt better, but I still feel I have a lot more to give. And I actually feel great to get back to work this summer. I’m so excited for that because I know what I can do out there. And when I’m in good shape, I know I can play good in this league. It’s been a tough year both, like you said, physically and mentally. It’s gonna be nice to recover here and get back in shape.
How good was it just to get back to playing hockey this year, and being in that aspect of thinking about hockey and thinking about just playing on nightly basis, rather than what you were going through last season?
I mean, it’s unbelievable. I didn’t know what to expect, if I ever could play again from the start and to play on the highest level in the world. And I still managed to do that. It’s making me proud just to think about it. I feel great about myself. And like I said earlier, I know I got some work to do every summer, but still I’m proud of myself that I was able to play this year.
How big was it for maybe even just your mental health and all that just to be around the guys in the locker room again, and kind of be able to be involved? More than you were maybe when you were first coming back?
Yeah, meant a lot to be honest. Like you said just to be around, didn’t matter if I was playing or not. Those games when I didn’t play this year, I still felt I was a big part of a team and just to have them around me makes me feel so much better. Just the energy you get from seeing all the boys every day is great.
Does the small taste of what it’s like with fans in the building get you pretty juiced to see hopefully maybe a much larger capacity next season?
100%. That’s a big part of the sport. The fans. They’re unbelievable especially here when we have a full house to give you so much energy. It’s way more fun to play when we have a full house too. I can’t wait to get back and play for the fans again. Give it back to them from this year when they missed part of it. It’s gonna be great to see them again. Hopefully, we can play better next year and give them something to cheer for.
Transcript via Philadelphia Flyers