Oskar Lindblom has always said how important his teammates were throughout his cancer fight.
"They've talked to me as if I'm still on the team even if I'm not there," Lindblom said in August 2020. "Those tough weeks when I felt so bad and trying to think about life, they've called me and texted me, to help get me more energy and it helped me through the whole process."
His teammates were there for him in beautiful fashion Sunday on Hockey Fights Cancer night at the Wells Fargo Center. In conjunction with the league-wide initiative, the Flyers wore their purple and black warmup jerseys to bring awareness to all of those impacted by cancer.
But the Flyers added a special touch. They all wore No. 23 Lindblom jerseys and had Lindblom take a solo lap before joining him on the ice.
“Every time I look at him, I see a beautiful young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Friday. "I wish he had the same hairdo that he had last year, but it’s coming back. I have flashbacks sometimes of when we had to tell him in Denver that he had cancer — we didn’t quite know what type it was, but we had to send him back to Philly. Some of the flashbacks that I have are him every time he’d be around the team with no hair, smiling and being positive. I think it made everybody in our group — players and coaches and management that were close to Oskar — realize how important every moment is, to make sure that you're always at your best and doing the right things when you see someone go through that, such a wonderful person."
Lindblom's life and career were rocked in December 2019, when the humble Swedish native was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma. Lindblom missed the remainder of the 2019-20 regular season as he fought for his life. He completed his radiation treatments last July at Pennsylvania Hospital and astoundingly returned to the Flyers' lineup for two games during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs in September.
The 24-year-old has remained cancer-free, playing in 39 games this season.
"A lot of emotions," Lindblom said after the Flyers' 1-0 overtime loss to the Islanders. "Just to be able to play this game again, play in the NHL, the best league in the world, and I can still manage to be out there and compete, it’s a great feeling. I’m just happy to be able to be here and play again.
"I didn’t know there was supposed to be anything about me during the game, so it was emotional and I was just trying to hold it together and focus on the game. Amazing moment and I will remember that for the rest of my life."
Philadelphia is home to Lindblom. What has he grown to love about Flyers fans?
“Everything," Lindblom said Friday. "They’re there for us, doesn’t matter if we lose or win. I think it was my first year, we had a road game somewhere and I see the fans in warmups. We had more fans than the home team had there. They’re everywhere, they really support us and they’re just great.”
The selfless Lindblom heard the support Sunday night. He deserved every second of it.
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