Oskar Lindblom of the Philadelphia Flyers has won the 2021 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given annually to the player in the NHL who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. Lindblom was a finalist for the Masterton Trophy last season as well.
Congrats, @oskarlindblom! 🧡🖤
An inspirational journey culminates with winning the Masterton Memorial Trophy. #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/duFkbVvIJN
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 15, 2021
Oskar Lindblom Wins Masterton
In December 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that grows in and around the bones. The diagnosis cut short what was on track to be the best season of his career. (He’d recorded 18 points through 30 games at that point.) In July 2020, after months of chemotherapy, Lindblom completed his treatment. Then, in September, he rejoined the Flyers in the playoff bubble to help force a Game Seven in the Second Round against the New York Islanders.
This season, Lindblom returned to regular play with the Flyers. He logged 14 points, eight of which were goals, through 50 games. And during the season, Lindblom announced that his most recent scans had come back clear, to the delight of fans and organizations around the league. His personal triumph over cancer and determined return to NHL play make him a more-than-deserving winner of the award.
The other finalists for the Masterton Trophy were Matt Dumba and Patrick Marleau. Dumba, a Minnesota Wild defenceman, gained his spot through his efforts to fight racism and promote hockey among Minnesota youth. Marleau, a San Jose Sharks forward, made history this season by breaking Gordie Howe’s record for games played.
What This Means for the Future
Lindblom being cancer-free is something to celebrate in and of itself. But the fact that he’s returned to playing hockey, and at the highest level possible, is even more incredible. Make no mistake – Lindblom’s continued health is the biggest priority. Still, it’s great to see his determination finally rewarded through his Masterton Trophy win.