Oskar Lindblom

oskar lindblom extension
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Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom signs three-year, $9M extension

It’s been a great month for Oskar Lindblom. On July 2, the Flyers forward rang the bell to signify the end of his treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma. On Wednesday, he inked a fresh contract extension.

The 23-year-old Lindblom signed a three-year, $9 million deal to remain with the Flyers. He could have been a restricted free agent in the off-season.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Flyers for the next three seasons,” Lindblom said. “The support that the organization, the fans, and the entire NHL has given me has been quite overwhelming. I can’t wait to get back skating with the boys and being the professional hockey player I know I can be. I want to thank the Flyers for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to the day I’m back and contributing to the team’s success.”

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

At the time of his diagnosis in December, Lindblom, a 2020 Masterton Trophy finalist, was tied for the team lead in goals (11), and had recorded 18 points in the Flyers’ first 30 games.

Despite going through treatments Lindblom still found time to visit his teammates during the season. He made several trips to home games, was in the team photo, and skated during Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play.

On a conference call Wednesday, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher didn’t close the door on the possibility Lindblom could be one of the 31 players they take to Toronto. He also added that there is the chance he could actually play.

“I don’t know what’s out of the question,” Fletcher said. “I wouldn’t certainly put any limits on Oskar. We’ll obviously do everything that we can to protect him. He’s looking forward to restarting his life and his career. Whatever that means, we’ll find out. We’ll work very closely with his medical team and our medical team. We’ll make the right decisions for him.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Johns, Lindblom, Ryan are 2019-20 Masterton Trophy finalists

Stephen Johns of the Stars, Oskar Lindblom of the Flyers, and Bobby Ryan of the Senators are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Masterton Trophy. The award, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, is given “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

Robin Lehner was last season’s winner.

Each local chapter submits one nominee and the full PHWA membership votes at the conclusion of the regular season. You can find the full list of nominees here.

[2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule]

Stephen Johns’ story: The Stars defenseman missed 22 months due to post-traumatic headaches. He made his NHL return in January and played over 18 minutes that night against the Wild. He would play 17 games this season and scored his first goal at Madison Square Garden in a win over the Rangers. “Throughout this whole process, it wasn’t just me going through hell,” he told the Dallas Morning News in June. “As parents, they want to help and for them to be here and see that, I probably know my dad was for sure crying. I’m pretty excited to go see them and give them both a big hug.”

Oskar Lindblom’s story: It was in December that the Flyers forward was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. At that time he was tied for the team lead in goals scorer (11) through 30 games. After months of treatment, the 23-year-old got to ring the bell at Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia earlier this month as his treatments came to an end. He won’t play in the postseason, but there is hope he can rejoin the team for next season.

Bobby Ryan’s story: Ryan left the Senators in late November to enter the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program to deal with an alcohol problem. He returned in February and recorded a hat trick in his first game back in Ottawa. That led to emotional standing ovations and Ryan being name the game’s No. 1 star. He hopes to continue to tell his story to help others. “Because I’ve been open and candid about that, I think people have looked at me and said, ‘There’s a very relatable person,'” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “Through my family stuff and now with alcohol issues, I’ve never hid from it and I’ve always said, if I’m going to do this, I’m going to have to do it in the public eye and I’m going to have to be candid with it.”

The winner will be announced during the conference finals.

The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died on Jan. 15, 1968.

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

NHL AWARD FINALISTS
Ted Lindsay Award: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin
Calder Trophy: Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Dominik Kubalik
Jack Adams Award: Bruce Cassidy, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault
• Lady Byng Trophy: Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O'Reilly

Vezina Trophy: Connor Hellebuyck, Tuukka Rask, Andrei Vasilevskiy
Norris Trophy: John Carlson, Victor Hedman, Roman Josi
Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier, Ryan O’Reilly
Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

PHT Morning Skate: Oskar Lindblom reflects on battling cancer

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit for the PHT Morning Skate? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

Lindblom’s battle, key Wild decisions, and more

• Alex Prewitt shares a detailed, touching account of Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom‘s battle with cancer. [SI]

• USA Hockey announced the cancellation of the 2020 World Junior Summer showcase. The event was originally scheduled for July 24-31, but it makes sense to err on the side of caution. [USA Hockey]

• Ken Campbell believes the Wild took care of the present by dropping the interim tag from head coach Dean Evason, and secured the future by signing Kirill Kaprizov. I’d say the jury is still out on Evason, but getting Kaprizov signed is huge — even if COVID-19 presents more bumps in the road. [The Hockey News]

• How about some more detail on Evason, then? Tony Abbott breaks down why Wild GM Bill Guerin might have been impressed with Evason. In particular, it’s interesting to see that the Wild picked up the pace with Evason after firing Bruce Boudreau. [Zone Coverage]

• A fun one from John Matisz on various skills that hockey players find difficult to master. Some covet Nicklas Lidstrom’s ability to walk the line. Kevin Shattenkirk marvels at the deceptive “hitch” Nikita Kucherov can put on his shot. [The Score]

• Ranking the Detroit Red Wings’ jerseys, from worst to first. That 1928-29 Cougars logo is choice. [Hockey by Design]

NHL training camps, insight on playoff matchups, and free agency

• The Maple Leafs don’t view training camp as merely an opportunity to tune up. Instead, such activities are being framed as competition for playoff roster spots. I imagine players like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Morgan Rielly don’t have to worry too much, though. [Sportsnet]

• Sin Bin Vegas transcribed key Robin Lehner quotes about his free agent future. Over and over again, it seems clear that Lehner craves term in contract offers, making me wonder if a savvy team might be able to bring his AAV down by giving him some stability. Goalies are unpredictable, but you could make worse bets than Lehner, who’s been outstanding since at least 2018-19. [Sin Bin Vegas/TSN 1200 interview]

Really, the biggest story for today’s PHT Morning Skate might be Lehner’s silly leg pads:

 

• Count Brenden Dillon among the pending UFAs who would prefer to stick with their teams. In Dillon’s case, it’s the Capitals, whom he’s still becoming acquainted with. Looking at the Capitals’ cap situation, Dillon returning isn’t out of the question, although that might boil down to what kind of deal the rugged defenseman expects. Also, it may hinge on other decisions, such as what to do with Braden Holtby. [Nova Caps Fans]

• As the Canadiens await, which players are the biggest X-factors for the Penguins? [Pensburgh]

• Being that the Flames and Jets only met in an outdoor game, Paul Maurice doesn’t believe there’s much video to use in preparing for Calgary. He also explains how NHL systems are like battleships. Hopefully the return to play doesn’t flop like that movie. [Winnipeg Free Press]

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom rings bell after final cancer treatment

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A week after hitting the ice with his teammates for the first time in six months, Oskar Lindblom got to ring the bell marking the end of his chemotherapy treatments.

The 23-year-old Flyers forward was diagnosed in December with Ewing sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, and played only 30 games this season.

On Thursday, Lindblom walked down the hall at Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to ring the bell and celebrate with the nurses who took care of him.

“I can’t even explain how I feel,” he told the Flyers website. “It feels I’m having a birthday, Christmas and all those holidays at the same time. It feels awesome to be done. I can’t wait to just get back to normal life again and start feeling like I’m living.”

(Lindblom will not play for the Flyers later this summer if the NHL resumes the 2019-20 season.)

Since being diagnosed, Lindblom received support from all over the hockey community. Players from the Flyers and around the NHL wore#OskarStrong” shirts and he was given a standing ovation when shown on the Jumbotron during a January game.

“From family to friends to fans, I can’t explain how much they’ve meant to me,” said Lindblom, who is the Flyers’ Masterton Trophy nominee. “Especially at the start when it was a rough time and I got all those kind words. It just made me feel so much better, calm, and it really helped along the way.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Oskar Lindblom skates with Flyers for first time since cancer diagnosis

Oskar Lindblom skates with Flyers for first time since cancer diagnosis
via Flyers on Twitter

If you needed a lift, this might do the trick. For the first time since his cancer diagnosis in December, Oskar Lindblom skated with Philadelphia Flyers teammates. Not all of them, of course, because of Phase 2 protocols … but some of them.

And, yeah, it seems pretty glorious.

Personally, I felt concerned about the idea of Lindblom being exposed in a return-to-play scenario. Luckily, it seems like cooler heads will prevail, as the AP’s Stephen Whyno reports that Lindblom won’t play in actual games if the NHL return-to-play plan actually pans out.

With that relief in mind, we can just enjoy the uplifting sight of Lindblom getting back out there. You might even feel like the room is a little “dusty” watching him skate and shoot:

Lindblom optimistic about recovery; Flyers impressed to see him skate

It sounds like Lindblom is making serious progress in dealing with Ewing’s sarcoma.

“They’re going great. I don’t have a lot left,” Lindblom said of his treatments, via Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic. “I’ll have it done soon. I can see the light in the tunnel right now, and I’m trying to enjoy my life after this. I can’t complain. People have it worse, and I’m happy to be where I am right now.”

Like many of us, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher was impressed by what he saw from Lindblom.

“It was great to see him out there,” Fletcher said. “He looked really good on the ice, his hands are still there. It is remarkable to think that with all the treatments that he had 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 will in the future, he’s going to return to play for us …”

Fletcher spoke about how safe the Flyers’ facilities are, but there’s still some risk involved. Lindblom also has a way to go before he can totally put health concerns behind him.

But overall? This is fantastic to see, especially the sheer joy on Lindblom’s face in the photo on the left:

Most of all, here’s hoping that Lindblom continues on the road to recovery. If he eventually suits up for actual Flyers games — when it’s safe — then that would be even better.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.