It’s been a rough few months for many people for many different reasons, but Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom skated with his team Tuesday. That is something to celebrate.
The Tuesday skate marked one of the few times he’s strapped on the skates since he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in December. Lindblom won’t play again this season, of course, but he was out there and it was awesome to see.
“It’s fun to be out there,” Lindblom said. “Still tough not to be as good as I used to be when you’re normal. But it’s fun to be out there, fun to be with the boys again, skate around and get the feel of it.”
The 23-year-old Swede was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which impacts just 200 adults and children in the United States each year. It affects the soft tissue around the bones and is uncommon in adults over the age of 20.
Lindblom had been out skating three or four times since the diagnosis, he said, but the Tuesday skate was the first time he joined teammates. With COVID-19 creating all sorts of concomitant complications in the sport and beyond, you can imagine the moment was doubly special.
Voluntary small group workouts were permitted as part of Phase Two of the NHL’s Return to Play plan and went into action on June 8.
When Lindblom was diagnosed, he was tied with Travis Konecny for the Flyers’ scoring lead. Each had 11 goals.
“He looked really good on the ice, his hands are still there,” Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “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.”
The Flyers are awaiting the start of the round robin tournament and closed the regular season in second place in the Metropolitan Division. Philadelphia will compete with Tampa, Boston, and Washington to determine the top four seeds in the conference for the playoffs. You can bet Lindblom will be watching.