Oskar Lindblom’s story is getting its Hollywood ending.
The NHL announced on Tuesday night that the Flyers winger has been named the winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey”.
Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and San Jose’s Patrick Marleau were also nominated for the award voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Roughly 18 months ago, it was unclear if Lindblom would ever play hockey again, let alone be taking home NHL hardware. The 24-year-old was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in December of 2019 and underwent a gruelling treatment process that kept him out of the sport entirely. And yet, in a miraculous turn of events, Lindblom was able to join the Flyers for the 2020 NHL Playoff Bubble a mere six months after his diagnosis and was officially declared cancer-free this past March.
Fresh off inking a three-year contract extension prior to his first full season back, Lindblom finished with 14 points in 50 games in 2021 and looks poised to reach greater heights in the years ahead.
Holding down a regular spot in an NHL lineup is difficult enough. Doing so a little over a year after being diagnosed with cancer is downright herculean. But Lindblom has proven that there are very few hurdles life can throw at him that he can’t clear.