The National Hockey League announced today that Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually by the National Hockey League to the player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey.
"I'm very humbled to be considered for this award that so many courageous and great players have won," said Lindblom. "Seeing the overwhelming support from fans, my teammates and the entire hockey community has been very emotional for me and without a doubt helped me get through this difficult time, and back to being with and doing the things I love."
Lindblom joins Dallas Stars forward Stephen Johns, who returned to the lineup this season after being out of the NHL for 22 months dealing with post-traumatic headaches, and Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, who earlier in the year entered the NHL/NHL Players' Association player assistance program for issues with alcohol abuse and returned to finish the season with the Senators.
In December of 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. While undergoing treatments throughout the season, he was a steady presence alongside his teammates with his frequent visits to games and the locker room.
On June 9, 2020, he was named the Flyers nominee for the Masterton by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writer's Association and on June 23, he skated alongside his teammates during the NHL's Phase 2 of Return to Play.
On July 2, Lindblom finished his treatments at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital and is now deemed without evidence of cancer at this time, according to his medical team.
Prior to the diagnosis, Lindblom was in the midst of a breakout season, recording 11 goals, which was tied for the team lead at the time, and 18 points (11g-7a) in 30 games.
In parts of three NHL seasons, all with the Flyers, Lindblom has recorded 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points in 134 career regular season games.
Lindblom spent three seasons with Brynas IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) and was named Swedish forward of the year in 2016-17 after he was second among all SHL players with 22 goals and fourth with 47 points. He was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round (138th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, which was held in Philadelphia. He signed a three-year entry-level contact with the team on May 30, 2017.
The winner of the Masterton is selected by a poll among the 31 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and is revealed during the NHL Awards Show. Last year's winner was Robin Lehner of the New York Islanders.
Only three Flyers have taken home the award in franchise history. Most recently Ian Laperriere won the award in 2011. Bob Clarke (1972) and Tim Kerr (1989) were also previous winners.
The trophy was presented by the NHL Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, and who died January 15, 1968.