Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Taryn Hatcher and Jordan Hall.
The topic: Predicting who wins the Flyers' 2019-20 Gene Hart Memorial Award as the player with the most “heart.”
Looking back at the season, no one is more deserving of this award than Oskar Lindblom.
When the news was given back in December that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, the whole NHL community was in shock. Through the news and the process since, the 23-year-old has continued to be a positive light for the organization and fans.
Though his season on the ice was cut short, his impact remained just as important as the year progressed. The team went out and played for him every single night. Those moments when he was in Wells Fargo Center — whether the team knew, it was a surprise or even when he popped up on team picture day, he always made it better.
Head coach Alain Vigneault says it best whenever Lindblom is mentioned, always commenting on his “beautiful smile.”
The player to win the Gene Hart by the end of the season should be Sean Couturier.
Couturier is so clutch for many reasons. We always talk about his strong 200-foot abilities and simply put— his marvelous abilities with the puck. On top of that all, he’s consistent.
Couturier is always stepping up for this team and bringing heart to the game in times the team needs it most. Specifically, games following defeat.
Couturier in games following a loss:
26 games, 13 goals, 19 assists, 32 points, plus-13
Couturier is a game-changer and I think there’s something to say about how he’s been such a consistent key component for the Flyers.
I completely believe Couturier deserves to be awarded the Gene Hart for the third consecutive season because of that passion he brings to the Flyers, and the sport of hockey in general.
The Gene Hart Memorial Trophy has to go to Lindblom.
Lindblom is a phenomenal teammate according to every single person who plays alongside him, a guy who is tremendous to work with in every interaction I’ve had with him (and every other reporter who covers the team will say the same), and a player who was seemingly taking a massive step in his career this season before it was so unfairly cut short.
Despite Lindblom being forced to take a step back from the ice to battle Ewing’s sarcoma, he has become a key piece in the force that drives this team. This team has made it clear that it fights for him while he’s forced to fight for his health.
I’d pull up stats for how the team has played on days when Lindblom has been at morning skate, or quotes on all the wonderful things the Flyers have said about what Lindblom means to them, but honestly this video of him surprising the team (and specifically Jakub Voracek’s reaction) says more than I could adequately say.
It would be really cool to see Robert Hagg win this award.
The 25-year-old Swede is a low-key guy who does the unglamorous things and never aims for recognition. Instead, he plays with a huge heart and always puts his teammates first.
Hagg has found his niche on this 2019-20 team, all while dealing with the shocking news of his good friend Lindblom being diagnosed with cancer. He has pushed forward for Lindblom and the Flyers.
Hagg is a player that doesn't make the headlines. He deserves this one.
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