Oskar Lindblom already won the biggest battle of his life. Now, he’s still cancer-free after his latest scans and the young Flyers forward is looking like his old self.
On Friday afternoon, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault jubilantly announced that Oskar Lindblom remains cancer-free.
“One last thing,” AV said before walking off. “Oskar went in for his scan. I don’t know if he told anybody, but he’s cancer-free still. That’s real positive. I don’t know if I was supposed to tell anybody that,” he continued.
It’s great news for Lindblom, who could be a big contributor for the Flyers this season.
Lindblom had a solid rookie season in 2018-19 with 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 81 games. He broke out early in the 2019-20 season with 14 points (8 goals, 6 assists) in his first 17 games.
Then everything came to a halt. Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma on December 10th.
The hockey world rallied around Oskar, and the young Swede tried to always keep a positive attitude.
Less than seven months later, Lindblom rang the bell after his final treatment. It wasn’t long before he was back on the ice in the NHL.
Lindblom returned in Game 6 against the New York Islanders on September 3rd, 2020. It was his first NHL game since December 7th, 2019.
After a short offseason, Lindblom endured the rigors of a COVID-impacted season while still trying to get back up to 100% playing shape. The 2020-21 season was extremely disappointing for the Flyers, but it was a huge step forward for Lindblom. He played in 50 of 56 games last season, which is a significant number given the circumstances. Lindblom won the Masterson Trophy for his perseverance.
Now, with a full offseason of rest and training behind him, Lindblom is back to his old self.
On Saturday afternoon, Vigneault folllowed up his Lindblom update from Friday. He said that Lindblom’s conditioning testing were back to his pre-cancer levels.
“That’s a real positive sign he’s physically back to when we tested him my first year. What he did on the ice and off the ice, he’s back to that,” Vigneault said.
Lindblom getting his physicality back into his game should help a lot. H
We’re obviously banking that the Oskar that we’re going to see this year is the Oskar pre-cancer,” Vigneault said, mentioning how well Lindblom was playing with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny.
“I’m hoping with everything that I’m hearing that he’s back to where he was prior to it. Obviously, we’re going to have to show a little bit of patience here but when you talk to him, you see that he feels good,” Vigneault continued. “I don’t want to say he was frustrated last year, but he was because he had the mind going. The body just wasn’t doing what the mind was thinking.”
Lindblom’s teammates are taking notice of his energy as well.
“Oskar looks really good. When he came back in the bubble and things like that you could see it in his body that he wasn’t there physically, which is to be expected,” Joel Farabee said. “He’s got the flow back now, so he’s looking more normal. I’m definitely excited to see what he’s going to bring this year. I think he’s really gonna break out for us.”
The Swedish forward is still only 25 years old and could be in the mix for a spot in the top six. The Flyers are going to need all the help they can get from their wingers with second-line center Kevin Hayes out for six to eight weeks.
Lindblom remains cancer-free and he’s back to his normal fitness levels. The sky is the limit for Oskar.
Photo: Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers
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