Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday won the Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, on Dec. 10, 2019. At the time of his diagnosis, the forward had scored 18 points in 30 games and was tied with forward Travis Konecny for the Flyers lead with 11 goals. On July 2, 2020, Lindblom rang a ceremonial bell at Abramson Cancer Center at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to signify the end of his cancer treatments.
Two months later, he returned and played two games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders.
“Just to get back from losing all the muscles when you start playing again and you feel like you’re not really there, it’s a tough time to get around, then it starts to hit you mentally as well and you feel tired all the time, so last season was a battle for me,” Lindblom said after winning the award. “But just to be able to get back on the ice again was so, so good. I can’t say more than that. Awesome feeling to be back on the ice again.”
[RELATED: Complete list of Masterton Trophy winners]
Lindblom, who was a finalist for the Masterton last season, scored 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 50 games this season and again was declared free of cancer following a scan in March. He is the fourth Flyers player to win the award (Bobby Clarke, 1972; Tim Kerr, 1989; Ian Laperriere, 2011).
“I would like to thank my family, my girlfriend,” Lindblom said. “My whole team, the organization and especially the doctors and nurses that have been helping me on the way and everyone else that has been there for me the whole way. I just want to say a big thank you to all of you.”
The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, and the top three vote-getters — Lindblom, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba and San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau — were designated as finalists. A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
“I feel very honored and proud to win this award and to compete with these type of players like Matt Dumba and Patrick Marleau that have been great players and great people on and off the ice,” Lindblom said. “That’s very special for me.”