Alain Vigneault marveled at Oskar Lindblom's selflessness and strength.
Back in December, the Flyers' head coach told a story about Lindblom checking in on teammate Travis Konecny, who suffered a concussion that month from a hard hit.
Lindblom was in the middle of undergoing tests at the University of Pennsylvania.
"With everything that is going on, he texted T.K. to find out how his head was going because of the concussion," Vigneault said Dec. 17. "That’s just the type of young man that we have — strong, he’s like the hockey community, he’s going to have a lot of support and he’s going to get through this."
On Thursday, we saw a culmination of the strength and support. A little over six and a half months after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones, Lindblom rung a bell on the 5th floor of the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital to signify the completion of his radiation treatments.
The Flyers' 23-year-old forward hugged his girlfriend Alma Lindqvist, who shared pictures on her Instagram account with the caption: "MY LOVE IS CANCER FREE."
Lindblom, a humble native of Sweden with a bright smile, thanked all the medical professionals and gave them a signed jersey. He expressed his gratitude for everyone who has supported his fight.
From family to friends to fans, I can't even explain how much that meant to me," Lindblom said to Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "Especially in the start, it was a rough time and I got all those kind words, it made me feel so much better and calm — it was a real help along the way, that's for sure.
"I can't even explain how I feel. It feels like I'm having my birthday, Christmas and all those holidays at the same time. It just feels awesome to be done. I can't wait to just get back to normal life again and start to feel like I'm living.
I can't say enough about this young man. Everyone can see the talent and impact that Oskar has had for us on the ice, but he is an outstanding teammate in our locker room and a genuinely good person. His attitude and strength through all of this is a tremendous inspiration for us all. Today is a great day. Congrats to Oskar. We look forward to having him rejoin our team in the near future.
- Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher
The Flyers, the city of Philadelphia and the entire hockey community has rallied behind Lindblom since his diagnosis in December. "Oskar Strong" shirts by Biscuit Tees have been worn around the world. During a game in January, Lindblom received a heartwarming standing ovation at the Wells Fargo Center.
Everyone was standing for him as he rang that bell on Thursday. Lindblom was left smiling — and saying thank you.
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