Just over six months ago, Philadelphia Flyers’
Since then, through the pause of the NHL and the rest of the sports world, Lindblom has progressed well through his treatment and is now starting to give fans some flashes of hope for his eventual return.
Most recently, Lindblom took the ice for a closed practice at the Flyers’ Skate Zone in Vorhees, New Jersey for his first full-equipment skate since
Back on the Ice
For how long it’s been since Lindblom suited up to skate, and considering the physical toll his body has paid throughout his treatment, he looked great in Vorhees. General manager Chuck Fletcher reassured some questions about the facilities’ procedures during the pandemic, for the sake of Lindblom’s safety.
“Obviously, Phase 2 is voluntary and every player and staff member must follow very strict guidelines and rules. Our practice facility is a very safe environment, safer than most places,” Fletcher told Jordan Hall of NBC Sports.
Lindblom’s skating looked fantastic, he gave a small show of where his stickhandling skills are, and had some solid power behind his shot. There’s obviously still a gap between where he is today and where he needs to be in order to make a return to the lineup, but as he’s finishing the final stages of his treatment he seems to be in a great place physically.
Depending on how the next stage of the NHL’s return-to-play plan turns out, Lindblom should be able to get out on the ice for more practice sessions and soon get back to full strength.
Lindblom Earns A Masterton Nomination
As is the case every year, a player from each team is nominated by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” For the Philadelphia PHWA Chapter, Lindblom was the obvious choice for the nomination.
There is really no way to properly honor the strength and perseverance that Lindblom has shown in his fight with Ewing’s Sarcoma, but the Masterton Trophy would be a solid start. Once the list is narrowed down, it should come as no surprise to see Lindblom included in the final three.
What’s Next For Lindblom
Seeing Lindblom on the ice was an incredible display of the progress he’s made in his recovery and his desire to get back to the game. While he’s made some tremendous strides and is nearing the end of his treatment, there is still a long road ahead of him.
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We likely won’t be seeing Lindblom back in the lineup at least until the 2020-21 season. Expecting him to be ready to go by the start of next season is certainly optimistic, but considering the way he’s progressed through his recovery, it’d be hard to put that past him.
It’s unfortunate that we won’t be able to see Lindblom compete with the Flyers in the restructured postseason and finish the amazing season that he helped start, but obviously, his health moving forward is priority number one.
The fact that Lindblom is skating just over six months after his diagnosis is a tremendous accomplishment. He has been the spark and inspiration of a surprisingly great Flyers’ season and the entire hockey community remains behind him as he continues his recovery.
All in all, it was an incredible sight to see Lindblom back in his gear, skating with his teammates, and smiling on the ice once again.