Oskar Lindblom epitomizes just about everything for which the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy represents.
The Flyers talented left wing has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of blood cancer, and he’s been doing it with quiet, fierce determination.
The Masterton Trophy is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the traits of “sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication’’ to the game of hockey.
The late Bill Masterton, a former member of the Minnesota North Stars, is the only player to lose his life while playing in an NHL game.
On Tuesday, Lindblom was announced as the Flyers’ nominee for the coveted award.
Past Flyers winners include Hall of Famer player Bobby Clarke, Tim Kerr and Ian Laperriere.
Lindblom had to stop playing hockey back on Dec. 14 when the original diagnosis was made.
He underwent chemotherapy treatments which were said to prove effective.
But it is uncertain when or if he will be able to resume his National Hockey League career, especially with the uncertainty of the pandemic affecting the game so severely.
Lindblom, 23, was a fifth-round (138th overall) draft pick of the Flyers back in 2014.
In three seasons with the Flyers, he has played in 134 games, with 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points.
When his season was cut short last year, Lindblom had played in 30 games, with 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points.
Lindblom’s teammates have rallied behind him to show support. They hung Lindblom’s jersey in his locker and it stayed there the rest of the season.
“It’s kind of tough not to be emotional,” Claude Giroux said back in December after the diagnosis. “But it’s good for everybody to see his jersey there.”
Ivan Provorov is confident his teammate will win this battle.
“He’s a fighter, he’ll get through this,” Provorov said. “We love him, we’ll support him all the way and he knows we’re here for him. He’s not fighting this fight alone and we’ll do everything that we can to make sure he feels that there’s all people supporting him.”
Giroux echoed those sentiments.
“When one of your teammates is going to go through a fight like this, we’ll all be behind him,” Giroux said. “We’re there to support him. We love Oskar a lot, he’s a strong kid.”