After missing out last season, Oskar Lindblom is your 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy winner.
The award is presented annually to the player “who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey,” and Oskar certainly fits the bill as a cancer survivor who returned to the ice for the Flyers and went on to play 50 games this year, scoring eight goals and adding six assists.
Here’s part of the release the Flyers sent out, which includes quotes from Lindblom and General Manager Chuck Fletcher:
“I feel very, very honored and proud to win this award and to compete with these types of players like Matt Dumba and Patrick Marleau that are great players and great people on and off the ice. It’s very special for me,” said Lindblom in accepting the award from last year’s recipient, Bobby Ryan. “Just to be able to get back on the ice again was so, so good and I can’t say more than that. It was an awesome feeling to be back on the ice again… I would like to thank my family, my girlfriend, my whole team, the organization and especially the doctors and nurses who have been helping me along the way, and everyone else who have been with me the whole way. I just want to say a big thank you to all of you.”
“On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, I’d like to congratulate Oskar for this well-deserved honor given to him by the PHWA and the National Hockey League,” said Flyers President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Chuck Fletcher. “Oskar is a young man that continues to impress us with his level of commitment and character. To go through what he went through and return to the team during our playoffs in the Toronto bubble shows an incredible amount of determination and courage. He followed that up by working extremely hard to prepare for a full season in which he had an immediate impact in our room and on the ice.”
Lindblom becomes the fourth Flyer to win the award, following Lappy (2011), Tim Kerr (1989), and Bobby Clarke (1972).
Oskar, you’ll recall, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in December of 2019. He finished his treatment and rejoined the Flyers in the 2020 playoff bubble and played six of the seven games in the Islanders series.
Congrats to Lindblom, who has been through a lot. At least we can put a bow on this shitty Flyers season with some positive news.