The Philadelphia Flyers forward won’t be able to play in the All-Star Game, but that hasn’t stopped hockey fans from voting for Oskar Lindblom anyway.
The hockey world, and the Philadelphia Flyers, were rocked by news late last week that young forward Oskar Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Lindblom will miss the rest of the season as the forward is further evaluated and begins treatment in an attempt to beat the cancer.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer that manifests in the bone or soft tissue and is often seen in children or young adults. Lindblom is 23-years-old and has played 134 games across three seasons in the NHL.
This year, Lindblom has 18 points in 30 games for the Flyers and his 11 goals on the season remains tied for the team lead with Travis Konecny in mid-December.
The outpouring of support for Lindblom has been far reaching across the sports world, even crossing rivalry barriers. Hockey fans have also showed support for the young forward, and have banded together to make Lindblom the captain of the Metropolitan Division All-Star team.
In a Reddit post that trended as high as No. 2 on the r/hockey site, hockey fans are writing in Lindblom to the NHL’s All-Star captain’s ballot before voting closes on Dec. 20. The NHL’s All-Star Game, which takes place the weekend of Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis, allows hockey fans to vote for each division’s captain as a way to show appreciation for the league’s best players.
Lindblom, of course, would not be able to play in the All-Star Game with his condition, but the gesture is more of a symbolic one. If it works, Lindblom could be made an honorary captain of the Metropolitan Division team in a lovely showing of support from the hockey community and the NHL at large.
The NHL, in the past, has changed how hockey fans vote for the All-Star Game captains after the John Scott story a few years back. In 2016, hockey fans voted for Scott — an enforcer — in jest to represent the Pacific Division despite the forward being traded to the Montreal Canadiens and sent to the AHL before the game. The story became a heartwarming one when all was said and done, as Scott was named MVP of the tournament at the end, but the story spiraled out of the NHL’s control quickly.
Since then, the NHL has disallowed players who are injured or sent to the minors to become All-Star Game captains, but the league could overrule their “John Scott rule” in an act of good-will.
The gesture, whether it is acknowledged officially by the NHL or not, is a touching one regardless. Lindblom’s diagnosis caught many in the hockey world off-guard, and to see the community at large rally around him in a time of need is heartwarming.