It didn’t take left winger Oskar Lindblom long to find work.
Bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, he became an unrestricted free agent and signed Wednesday with the San Jose Sharks. Lindblom received a two-year deal that carries an annual $2.5 million cap hit.
“Oskar is a proven forward who can provide offensive upside in the middle of our lineup,” San Jose GM Mike Grier said.
Lindblom, who turns 26 next month, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer, on Dec. 10, 2019. He lost lots of muscle mass and had surgery to remove a rib.
“He has overcome significant obstacles in his young career, and his strength and desire to play hockey is immeasurable,” Grier said.
Lindblom, one of the most popular Flyers, was inconsistent last season, but he showed flashes of his old self as he finished with 12 goals and was responsible defensively.
“My last two years, I haven’t been where I want to be,” Lindblom told reporters. “So I feel like now it’s time to step it up and get to where I want to be.”
The #SJSharks have signed forward Oskar Lindblom to a two-year contract.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) July 13, 2022
In addition, this was going to be Lindblom’s first normal off-season since the summer of 2019, and Philly was expected to see if he could return to the promise he had shown earlier in his career. He had 17 goals in 2018-19, his sophomore season.
But the Flyers decided the cap savings ($3.3 million) had more importance than seeing if he could regain the form that produced 11 goals in 30 games before his stunning cancer diagnosis during the 2019-20 season.
“It’s been tough mentally to just try and grind and try to get through it all,” said Lindblom, adding he feels close to his pre-cancer fitness level. “I think it’s a good thing to get a new start and a fresh start with the Sharks.”
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound Lindblom was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth round in 2014, Ron Hextall’s first draft as general manager.