Some things are bigger than sports and one of them took place on Tuesday in Philadelphia as Oskar Lindblom joined his Flyers teammates on the ice for the first time in over six months. Lindblom, 23, was diagnosed in December with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and is still undergoing treatment, although according to the player they are going great and he doesn’t have a lot left.
— x-Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 23, 2020
Lindblom will likely play no part in said playoffs due to his long lay off and upcoming treatments but enjoyed his return to the ice telling media:
“I’ve been on a few times, not many, like three or four times. But it’s been so long between the different times, so it’s fun to be out there but it’s still tough to not be as good as you’re used to when you’re normal. But it’s fun to be out there, it’s fun to meet all the boys again and skate around, get the feel of it. It was great. That’s the only thing I’m waiting for right now is to be done with my chemo and get back with the team and play some hockey. That would be unreal to get back to real life again and have fun.”
Meanwhile, General manager Chuck Fletcher released the following statement:
“It was great to see him out there. He looked really good on the ice, his hands are still there. It is remarkable to think that with all the treatments that he has had he was able to go out there today and still show the skill and still have the stamina to skate for about 35-40 minutes. It’s a great sign for him and very exciting to think that with all going well in the future he’s going to return to play for us. 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.”
Lindblom was a fourth-round pick in 2014 by the Flyers and had 18 points from 30 games when his season was abruptly ended in December. That had the Swede on track to beat his career-best 33 points in the 2018-19 season as the Flyers became a contender for the Metropolitan division. They were one point out of first when COVID-19 put an end to the regular season and will play a round-robin against Washington, Boston, and Tampa Bay when the extended playoffs start.