One Year After Diagnosis, Flyers Forward Oskar Lindblom Remains Cancer Free
One year ago on Sunday, the Flyers world completely changed. They were in the middle of a three-game road trip that took them to Colorado, Minnesota and Winnipeg, and had lost to the Avalanche, 3-1, to open the trip on a Wednesday night, doing so without two of their top scorers.
Travis Konecny was absent with a concussion. Oskar Lindblom missed the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
At that point, the Flyers players and staff already knew the news that was going to be made known to the rest of the hockey world just a couple of days later. Oskar Lindblom had cancer, specifically a rare bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. His season was over. His health was the greater concern anyway.
The Flyers made that announcement on Dec. 13. Though still shaken from the news, thus losing the next two games, they returned home the following week, got to see Lindblom, and were restored. They went on a four-game winning streak.
Throughout the year, Lindblom would pop in on occasion and serve as an inspirational boost for the Flyers. Every time they seemed to need some added energy, seeing Lindblom would help them deliver another convincing display.
That continued into the playoffs, delayed until August by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the NHL sat idle from mid-March through the end of July, Lindblom continued his fight. He got back on the ice and skated by himself. He completed his treatments on July 2. He skated with the rest of the team as training camp progressed. And finally, when it came time to travel to the Toronto bubble, Lindblom went home to Sweden to see family, then made his return to Canada to be with his teammates as part of the final roster.
For the final two games of the Flyers playoff run, Lindblom returned to the ice and played. He was back. He had beaten cancer and returned to play within the same season, just about nine months removed from the diagnosis. The Flyers official Twitter account was happy to point out that the original announcement, which stated that Lindblom was out for the season, was an old take exposed.
Three more months have passed since then, and Lindblom has returned to the US again to begin training in Voorhees ahead of the anticipated start of the 2020-21 NHL season. His return brought about some good news.
In an Instagram post by Lindblom’s girlfriend, Alma Lindqvist, she gave the news that 369 days after his initial diagnosis, Lindblom’s latest scans are clear and cancer-free.
For the 24-year-old Lindblom, it appears now that life gets to move on as normal. Even with so much not normal in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic still a major issue, Lindblom can now move forward with his plans to participate when the NHL returns. Without the cancer hindering his health and treatments taking a lot out of him physically, Lindblom has been able to work out and prepare for this season in typical fashion.
All that’s left is for the NHL to announce the start date of training camps and the 2020-21 season so that Lindblom’s return to the ice becomes further known. Just like in September when he made his return during the playoffs, it will be a monumental occasion that will help to lift his teammates.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.