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HomeIce HockeyIt’s been a grind, however Lindblom working his method again | TheAHL.com

It’s been a grind, however Lindblom working his method again | TheAHL.com


Patrick Williams, TheAHL.com Options Author


Take heed to your physique, Oskar Lindblom says.

Or a minimum of to your vital different.

At 23 years previous, Lindblom – a 2014 fifth-round draft decide – had seemingly made his method into the NHL to stick with the Philadelphia Flyers. After an AHL All-Star season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2017-18, he performed 81 video games with the Flyers the next yr. And when he opened the 2019-20 marketing campaign with 11 objectives in his first 30 video games, loads of pleasure surrounded Lindblom’s sport.

However one thing didn’t appear proper. Because the video games pile up, so do the bumps and bruises. And Lindblom had what he now describes as “half a golf ball on his ribs.”

That’s unusual. It’s swollen, and that swelling isn’t subsiding. However perhaps it was a cross-check that had prompted it. Possibly even a number of subsequent hits to the identical space.

“Me as a man: ‘Ah, this isn’t unhealthy. It’s going to get higher,’” Lindblom remembers pondering.

He was, in spite of everything, younger and in elite bodily situation. And he was somebody who did take loads of pokes and jabs battling for pucks for a residing.

However his girlfriend, Alma Lindqvist, had a special take.

“‘It’s a must to deal with this,’” Lindblom remembers her telling him. “‘It’s a must to go and see the medical doctors.’”

So he did. Then got here the prognosis: Ewing sarcoma, a most cancers that happens within the bones or the delicate tissue surrounding the bones.

It’s uncommon. Solely between 200 and 250 individuals in the US are identified with the most cancers yearly, in response to the Cleveland Clinic.

“It’s an excellent factor that she sort of pressured me to go,” Lindblom stated of his now-fiancée.

Out of the blue hockey was on maintain. And much more than that. Months of remedy in Philadelphia have been to comply with. However working with Dr. Lee Hartner and the workforce at Pennsylvania Hospital, they made progress.

“I received the most effective assist I might have ever gotten there,” Lindblom stated of the medical workforce that helped him by these months of grueling remedy. “I’m simply so blissful and recognize it a lot that they helped me undergo it. If you happen to didn’t have all these expert medical doctors on the planet, it might be a nasty world to stay in.”

And he had Lindqvist.

“She did a terrific job to assist me,” Lindblom stated.

And the cellphone calls from mates. There have been some lonely days and nights for Lindblom in his hospital room, particularly with restrictions imposed on the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When somebody has most cancers, maybe their household and mates don’t fairly know find out how to assist.

“I feel only one cellphone name or reaching out [helps],” Lindblom defined. “That’s the one factor you really want to do to assist. Particularly for me, if somebody known as me simply to speak about no matter to get your thoughts off [the situation] a bit of bit.”

By July 2, 2020, Lindblom had completed his remedy. Later that month he signed a brand new three-year contract with the Flyers and pushed his method again into their lineup for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He returned to motion on Sept. 3 for his or her second-round battle with the New York Islanders and appeared in two video games that postseason.

In June 2021 he gained the Invoice Masterton Memorial Trophy, an honor that the NHL provides to the participant “who finest embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport of hockey.”

Lindblom performed one other 129 video games with the Flyers earlier than they purchased out the ultimate yr of his contract following the 2021-22 season. He discovered a brand new dwelling with the San Jose Sharks and dressed for 73 NHL video games final season.

Now 27, Lindblom is with the AHL’s Barracuda, working his method again to the NHL.

“It’s been a grind,” Lindblom admits. “Proper after you’re executed and ring that bell the final day of remedy, you’re feeling so relieved to be executed with most cancers hopefully for remainder of your life. However then is the subsequent step to get again to actual life.”

He needed to rebuild his physique to an NHL customary once more. Uncover his sport once more. Discover that scoring contact that had enabled him to interrupt out to such a sizzling begin 4 years in the past. Reaching the NHL – and staying there – calls for full focus and dedication from anybody, to say nothing of somebody who has survived most cancers. Lindblom was recalled by the Sharks final Wednesday after eight video games with the Barracuda. He made his NHL season debut final Friday, solely to land on injured reserve this week.

However one thing like most cancers will recalibrate anybody’s outlook and perspective. Lindblom can take care of any setback now.

“My life has been good,” Lindblom says. “I’ve numerous household round me and mates who’ve been taking good care of me and on my facet always. I’m simply blissful to have the ability to play hockey once more.

“I’m alive and residing life.”



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