This award is one of my favorites to talk about annually. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies the quality of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Recipients of this award are ones that display true grit and live by a “never give up” creed. Oskar Lindblom, the Philadelphia Flyers representative for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, is the epitome of those qualities. Today, Lindblom is named a finalist for the award.
In the 2018-2019 season, Oskar Lindblom played 81 games for the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the final stretch of games in that season that Lindblom found his groove. He finished with 33 points and evolved into a legitimate scoring threat. Throughout his time on the ice in the 2019-2020 season, Lindblom continued to bloom. He would only play thirty games before news broke of his Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis.
Oskar Lindblom was on pace to have his best season in his young career with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2019-2020. His diagnosis may have discontinued many other careers, but Lindblom pushed forward. He credits his girlfriend, Alma Lindqvist, for encouraging him to see a doctor. Throughout his chemotherapy, he never let his spirit fall. That’s courage, grit, and perseverance.
“In the start, I wasn’t really sure about it, but my girlfriend told me ‘you have to check it up.’ I did, luckily, it ended up pretty good too about my chemo.”Oskar Lindblom; 7/2/20
Two weeks ago, Oskar Lindblom finished his chemotherapy. In his battle, he inspired his teammates and the city of Philadelphia. The date was July 2nd, 2020, when Lindblom walked down the hallway of Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center and rang the bell. It’s a reality that he will join his teammates for the 2020-2021 season. A realization of a dream not only for the Philadelphia Flyers, but for Lindblom and his dedication to hockey.
Winning the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is the cherry on top. The real victory is Oskar Lindblom’s health and the opportunity to return to play hockey next season. Lindblom is a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy alongside the Ottawa Senators’ Bobby Ryan and the Dallas Stars’ Stephen Johns. Ryan entered the NHLPA assistance program to get help for alcohol addiction and returned to have his best game of 2019-2020 versus the Vancouver Canucks. Johns missed all of 2018-2019, including 47 games in 2019-2020, due to the side effects of post-concussion syndrome.
Mandatory Credit – (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)