The award could not have gone to a more worthy candidate.
On Tuesday night, the National Hockey League announced the Flyers’ Oskar Lindblom has been voted recipient of the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication.’’
Lindblom, who has battled through Ewing’s sarcoma — a rare form of bone cancer — joins previous Flyers honorees Bobby Clarke (1972), Tim Kerr (1990) and Ian Laperriere (2011).
The other finalists for this year’s trophy were Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Matt Dumba of the Minnesota Wild.
The award was presented by the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) to honor the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited those qualities. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968, as a result of an on-ice injury.
In December of 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma and started treatment that sidelined him for the remainder of the regular season. The hockey world celebrated on July 2, 2020, when he rang a ceremonial bell to signify the end of his treatments and again when he returned to the Flyers’ lineup for two games during the Stanley Cup playoffs in September.
“I feel very, very honored and proud to win this award and to compete with these types of players like Matt Dumba and Patrick Marleau that are great players and great people on and off the ice. It’s very special for me,” said Lindblom in accepting the award from last year’s recipient, Bobby Ryan.
“Just to be able to get back on the ice again was so, so good and I can’t say more than that. It was an awesome feeling to be back on the ice again… I would like to thank my family, my girlfriend, my whole team, the organization and especially the doctors and nurses who have been helping me along the way, and everyone else who have been with me the whole way. I just want to say a big thank you to all of you.”
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was pleased to learn about the honor for Lindblom.
“On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, I’d like to congratulate Oskar for this well-deserved honor given to him by the PHWA and the National Hockey League,” said Fletcher. “Oskar is a young man that continues to impress us with his level of commitment and character.
“To go through what he went through and return to the team during our playoffs in the Toronto bubble shows an incredible amount