BROSSARD - Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom's cancer diagnosis hit former teammate Christian Folin extra hard.
Folin was headed to practice on Friday morning when Lindblom texted him the devastating news hours before it was made public on social media.
Having become good friends in the City of Brotherly Love, Folin was shaken to learn that his 23-year-old countryman was stricken with Ewing's sarcoma, a type of cancer that forms in bone or soft tissue.
"It was terrible news. It was a tough day yesterday. I didn't really talk to him that much. I think he just put his phone away, which I can understand. Apparently, he got the news a couple of days ago, but he just wanted to reach out and let me know before," said Folin, who played with Lindblom during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 campaigns. "We got really close last year, spent some time together during the summer. He's coming to my wedding next summer, so he's a really good friend of mine. It's obviously really tough."
According to the statement released by the Flyers on Friday afternoon, the diagnosis was made by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. Lindblom is scheduled to undergo further testing and evaluation next week, and will begin treatment immediately. He is not expected to play for the remainder of the year.
Knowing Lindblom rather well, though, Folin fully expects the three-year NHL veteran to win this upcoming battle.
"He's not going to give up. He's one of those guys that keeps working. It doesn't matter what he faces. Even last year we had our ups and downs in Philly, but he kept plugging away and moving up the ranks and up the lineup," mentioned Folin. "He was playing on the fourth line, went up to the second line, and just kept producing. I think that speaks volumes about him and how he acts and conducts himself. It's going to be a battle for him, but I'm sure he's going to get out of it on the better side."
The Swedish blueliner says the pair "talk basically every day," and that will surely continue in the weeks and months ahead as Lindblom fights his ailment.
Their closeness is plain to see.
"He's one of the nicest guys I've met. I remember walking into the Philly locker room and he came in and introduced himself right away even though he's younger than me," recalled Folin, who is five-and-a-half years Lindblom's senior. "We spent a lot of time together on the road, and we went on vacation last year during the All-Star break. He came down to Gothenburg and spent some time with us. He really became a good friend, him and his girlfriend, Alma."
Folin also informed Jordan Weal of Lindblom's diagnosis on Friday. Weal played with Lindblom for two seasons in Philadelphia as well.
And like Folin, Weal was shocked to hear Lindblom was sick.
"To hear what's going on right now, it's hard to believe. A guy in the prime of his life and in good shape, just for something like that to happen. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family," said Weal. "He's a strong kid. That's the best case when you're going through something like this. He'll get the care that he needs, and we hope he'll be back doing what he loves as soon as he can. We're all thinking about him and hoping everything goes smoothly."
Max Domi also took to Twitter on Friday to express his support for Lindblom as well.
We're all with you right now, Oskar!