Oskar Lindblom, the left winger who beat a rare bone cancer last year, and center Scott Laughton were added to the Flyers’ COVID-19 protocol list released by the NHL Friday evening.
The Flyers now have seven players on the list, including Justin Braun, Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux, Travis Sanheim, and Jake Voracek.
Being on the list does not mean the player has contracted the coronavirus; they could have just been exposed to someone who has it.
It is not known if any of the Flyers tested positive or negative.
Lindblom, 24, declared cancer-free after a long bout with Ewing’s sarcoma, is at a higher risk to contract the coronavirus because he has an underlying medical condition, and his chemotherapy treatments last year may have weakened his immune system, medical experts say. In general, many cancer treatments make the immune system weak.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher did not respond when left a message asking about Lindblom.
With seven Flyers now on the COVID-19 protocol list, the team did not say whether it will be able to return to practice Monday, as planned, for the first time in a week.
Twenty-five of the 47 NHL players on the COVID-19 list are from the Flyers (seven) and New Jersey Devils (18), teams that faced each other on Jan. 26 and 28.
The Flyers have had four straight games postponed because of COVID-19 protocols. Their next scheduled game is against the visiting New York Rangers on Thursday, 11 days after Philadelphia last played.
The NHL has yet to give rescheduled dates for the Flyers’ postponed games against Washington, New Jersey (two), and the Rangers.
The Flyers are 8-3-1 (.692 points percentage) and in second place in the East Division. They haven’t played since Sunday’s 7-4 win in Washington, a game in which Laughton collected the first hat trick of his NHL career.
Six of the seven players on the Flyers’ COVID-19 list are regulars. Frost is the exception, and his season may have ended because of a separated shoulder.
Three of the players on the list – Voracek (12 points), Giroux (11), and Laughton (9) – are among the Flyers’ top six scorers, and Sanheim (five points, plus-3) is one of their best defensemen.
Lindblom has two goals and four points over 13 games. Flyers coach Alain Vigneault, noting Lindblom missed most of last season, recently said the winger and center Nolan Patrick were a “work in progress,” but he was optimistic with the strides they were making. (Patrick missed last season with a migraine disorder.)
When you miss a lot of time, the coach said, “it’s going to take a player an adaptation to find his rhythm and find his game.”