Oskar Lindblom has joined the Philadelphia Flyers for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The 23-year-old forward hasn’t played since being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, Dec. 13. He completed his cancer treatment July 2 and was included on the postseason roster.
Lindblom arrived in Toronto, the hub city for the Eastern Conference, on Friday and is nearing the end of a seven-day quarantine before he can join his teammates.
“Oskar’s a great kid and he’s been through a lot and I don’t think he’s stopped smiling this whole time,” Flyers defenseman Matt Niskanen said Tuesday. “The guys love having him here. First and foremost, we’re happy that he’s healthy and on his way back. As soon as he can come out of his room, we’ll welcome him with open arms. It’ll be great to see him.”
The Flyers play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday. (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, NBCSP).
Lindblom had been skating and training in his native Sweden since completing his cancer treatment. His presence will supply some extra motivation for the Flyers, who went 3-0-0 during the round-robin of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers to earn the No. 1 seed in the East.
“I think it’s going to bring us some positive energy,” forward Sean Couturier said. “Everyone’s happy to see him doing well. We’re just happy to soon have him back with us and practicing and hopefully play soon. We’re not quite sure what the plan is yet, but to have him around is nice. Brings a lot of positive energy.”
Lindblom last played Dec. 7. At the time of his diagnosis, his 11 goals were tied with forward Travis Konecny for the Flyers lead. Lindblom wasn’t expected to play again this season, but with the season paused March 12, there’s a chance he could return.
“Every one of us is really happy to have Oskar around,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Can’t wait to see him, can’t wait to see him on the ice with the team. That’s going to be a big positive for our group.”
The Flyers likely will have forward Jakub Voracek against the Canadiens in Game 1. Voracek was unfit to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the round-robin game Saturday but practiced the past two days.
“I’m healthy and I’m good to go,” he said Tuesday.