The Philadelphia Flyers wanted to keep Oskar Lindblom in Philadelphia. He’s a player who didn’t need to be on the ice to motivate his team. Every single time the players saw Lindblom, they were reminded of his courage. If Lindblom still had a smile on his face, everything else was going to be okay. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalist is now eligible to travel with the team to Toronto after signing a three-year, $9mil extension.
“With respect to our belief in Oskar, our organization believes wholeheartedly in Oskar. Our players believe in him. AV and our coaching staff believe in him. And I believe in him. So we couldn’t be happier to have this three-year deal done.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/22/20
Signing Oskar Lindblom to a three-year extension has a different feeling. It’s sweeter than it would normally be. In December, when Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, he was on pace to likely lead the team in goals. His career is just beginning to take off and this contract extension is very team-friendly. Consider how dangerous the Philadelphia Flyers were in his absence, then imagine Lindblom’s return.
“He’s a young man that’s just really starting his career. At the time of the diagnosis, he was leading our team in goals. If I’m not mistaken, he was on about a 30 goal, 50 point pace.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/22/20
When negotiating a contract, a team’s front office is always comparing a player to another one who produces the same and the money they make. This pandemic shortened season already throws a wrench into negotiations. That’s double for Oskar Lindblom. While Lindblom did have arbitration rights this season, he came to an easy agreement with the Philadelphia Flyers. Chuck Fletcher wanted Lindblom to stay and Lindblom secured the next three years as a safety blanket.
“We felt really strongly, again not that we were going to go to arbitration, but using the arbitration comparable model, we felt that a one-year, two-year arbitration award he was looking at a number in the mid-twos. In this flat cap era, to have that cap certainty for the next three years is great for us.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/22/20
This bargain deal for the Philadelphia Flyers helps their cap situation. Oskar Lindblom will, without a doubt, be the glue that holds the locker room together. During his treatments, Chuck Fletcher cited that Lindblom was more concerned with his teammates. His commitment to facing life head-on spoke volumes about his character and contributed to how the organization views him. Lindblom continues to be an inspiration that transcends just Philadelphia.
“The way he handled it was unbelievable, very inspirational. You also had a young man dealing with that type of news. His teammates just rallied around him. In terms of the contract, I think Oskar had proven to us even before his illness that he was a high character, talented player that we wanted to be part of our future.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/22/20
Everything we knew about Oskar Lindblom was flipped on its ear when he signed his three-year extension. Shortly after, Chuck Fletcher made it open knowledge that he was eligible for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs in Toronto. What’s surprising is not that long ago, it was signed, sealed, and delivered that Lindblom wouldn’t be eligible to play until 2020-2021. What’s miraculous is that Lindblom completed his cancer treatments and is not out of the question to play in the playoffs. Fletcher stated about Lindblom playing in the playoffs:
“Absolutely. I don’t know what’s out of the question. I wouldn’t certainly put any limits on Oskar. We’ll obviously do everything that we can to protect him. He’s looking forward to restarting his life and his career. Whatever that means, we’ll find out. We’ll work very closely with his medical team and our medical team. We’ll make the right decisions for him.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/22/20
Mandatory Credit – (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)