From the start of the season up to now, Oskar Lindblom’s presence has been felt on and off the ice. On the ice, Lindblom was on his way to a breakout season with 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games. That’s when his entire world changed and he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in December, ending his season.
Still, his impact was felt off the ice too. His teammates rallied around him. Lindblom went through treatments and started to work his way to recovery and start his journey to getting back on the ice. The Flyers overall team chemistry, especially in their support for Lindblom, was apparent.
For as tough a season as it was for Lindblom -- in a contract year, no less -- his impact was felt and his importance to the team was certainly realized. Lindblom’s impact will be felt for years to come, as the Flyers announced on Wednesday.
Lindblom has signed a three-year extension with the Flyers with an average annual value of $3 million. The 23-year-old, who just completed his cancer treatments earlier this month, is staying in Philly.
"I am very excited to be a part of the Flyers for the next three seasons," Lindblom said in a statement. "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."
GM Chuck Fletcher said that he hopes that Lindblom will be one of the 31 players to accompany the Flyers to Toronto for Phase 4. While Lindblom will likely not play, his presence in the locker room is uplifting to the rest of the team. Still, Fletcher is not ruling anything out.
"Our organization whole-heartedly believes in Oskar," Fletcher said. "Our players believe in him. AV believes in him. And I believe in him.
"I don't know what's out of the question. I wouldn't certainly put any limits on Oskar. We'll obviously do everything we can to protect him, but he's looking forward to restarting his life and his career. Whatever that means, we'll find out."
In his brief career, which has spanned three seasons, Lindblom has scored 30 goals and 57 points in 134 games after spending three seasons in the Swedish Hockey League. He was a 2014 fifth-round pick of the Flyers.
Lindblom was also recently named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player who demonstrates perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.