‘It's a big day for Oskar' — Lindblom helping Flyers keep things in perspective


VOORHEES, N.J. — Alain Vigneault had Oskar Lindblom lead the Flyers' post-practice stretches at Thursday's morning skate.

The head coach stood next to Lindblom at center ice of the main rink at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. With Lindblom on one knee and all of his teammates surrounding him, Vigneault made an announcement.

As Vigneault put his arm over Lindblom's head and shared the news like a proud father, the Flyers erupted.

Shayne Gostisbehere was so happy, he grabbed Lindblom and kiddingly smooched him on the helmet.

The Flyers are going through a rough stretch in March. They're 4-8-1 this month. Some of the losses have been lopsided, dispiriting types of defeats. The Flyers haven't resembled the team that surged down the regular-season stretch in 2019-20.

But similar to last season, when the Flyers were struggling to win a game of hockey, they'd see Lindblom, his smile and his courageous fight for his life — and they'd be given a reminder.

"If you’re having a bad day," Kevin Hayes said in March 2020, "you don’t have a bad day anymore when you see Oskar."

Hayes and the Flyers were reminded of that Thursday.

Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in December 2019. He completed his radiation treatments at Pennsylvania Hospital last July and astoundingly played two games during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After beating cancer, Lindblom has been working his way back to form this season and is heating up, too, with three goals in his last four games.

Following morning skate, Hayes respectfully didn't want to share why the Flyers were so excited for Lindblom.

Lindblom is expected to be among the group of postgame interviews Thursday night. It's only right that everyone hears the news first from No. 23 himself.

"It's a big day for Oskar," Hayes said with a smile. "I don't want to speak for him, but he got some great news today. It puts life into perspective. We're having problems as a team right now, we need to battle our way out of it. It sucks, no one in this organization wants to lose. Everyone wants to win for each other and for our fans. It's a big day for Oskar. He had some good news, I'm sure you guys are going to find out soon, I don't want to be the one to tell you. Even though we're struggling, that was a very cool moment. That will stick with me for a while."

And no way the Flyers' 8-3 loss Thursday night could put a damper on Lindblom's news, which the 24-year-old Swedish native shared after the game.

"I did my scans again yesterday and they came back good, so still cleared from cancer," Lindblom said. "It’s a great feeling to still know that. Now I just have to hopefully keep it the same and be cancer-free for the rest of my life."

This story was updated Thursday at 11:14 p.m. ET.

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