NHL awards season is upon us and for the second straight year, a Flyers player is taking home some hardware. Oskar Lindblom has been awarded the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy after being nominated for the second straight year. Him, Matt Dumba, and Patrick Marleau were nominated for the award by the Professional Hockey Writers Association to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.
Oskar’s battles have been well-documented. In December of 2019, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. At the time, he was leading the Flyers in goals. Almost a year to the date that he was diagnosed, it was announced that Oskar was cancer free. He resumed practices and eventually made his triumphant return to the team during their second round matchup against the New York Islanders. A story meant for a movie, Oskar exemplified everything that the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy represents.
Matt Dumba was nominated as well. He hosted his inaugural Matt Dumba Hockey Without Limits camp this season as part of Hockey Day in Minnesota. The object of the camp is to bring more diversity and inclusion to hockey and help provide the opportunity to play hockey to more children. There were over 100 youth hockey players from multiple foundations that took part in the inaugural camp.
Patrick Marleau rounded out the three finalists for the award. Marleau took part in his 23rd NHL season this year and celebrated a pair of historic achievements. In April, Marleau took the ice for his 1,768th NHL game. Playing in that game allowed Marleau to surpass Gordie Howe for the most regular-season games played in the league’s history. On top of that, he became the fourth player in NHL history to skate in over 900 consecutive contests. That feat currently ranks second amongst all active players in the NHL.
Oskar Lindblom signed a three-year extension prior in July of 2020. This past season, he posted eight goals and six assists in 50 games for the Flyers. He has 38 career goals and 33 career assists in 184 games. While a difficult year considering the amount of time missed due to his diagnosis and ensuing battle, Lindblom looked more comfortable as the games went by. The Flyers are hoping he can return to form next season.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre