Oskar Lindblom, the left winger who has battled a rare bone cancer for most of the season, has joined the Flyers in Toronto and will soon take part in their practices after his quarantine ends.
General manager Chuck Fletcher gave the update Tuesday on the Flyers’ flagship radio station, WPEN-FM (97.5).
The Flyers open their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Montreal on Wednesday in Toronto. They hope to still be playing in September, which is when they believe Lindblom may be ready to play in games.
Lindblom, 23, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in December. At the time, he shared the team lead with 11 goals and was having a breakout season.
The Sweden native had his final chemotherapy treatment last month. He had been skating and working out in Sweden before traveling to Toronto.
“The cancer diagnosis obviously rocked his world and rocked our team as well,” Fletcher said. “It’s amazing just to see him battle through to get to the end of his treatments. Hopefully, with all going well, he’ll be given another chance here to play and restart his life and his career.”
Fletcher said Lindblom was “very excited about it. He’s with us now. Still in quarantine, but over the next couple days, hopefully we can get him back and get him started skating on the ice. I don’t know how long it will take him to get going, but I just know he’s excited about resuming his career and restarting his life and being a part of our group.
“Our players are very excited to have him here as well.”
“I think it’s going to bring us some positive energy,” center Sean Couturier said in a Zoom call Tuesday from Toronto. “Just to have him around is nice.”
Lindblom’s quarantine will end in a few days, coach Alain Vigneault said.
“Can’t wait to see him on the ice with our team,” Vigneault said.
“As soon as he can come out of his room, we’ll welcome him with open arms,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said.
The Flyers have dedicated the season to Lindblom, a quiet, humble individual who, in the words of Vigneault, has a “smile that lights up a room.”
Vigneault wouldn’t say whether Shayne Gostisbehere, who returned to the lineup and had two assists against Tampa Bay, or Robert Hagg would be in the lineup Wednesday.
Hagg is a stay-at-home defender who brings physicality to the lineup, while Gostisbehere brings mobility and offense and can be used on the power play.