Former Flyer Fan Favorite Oskar Lindblom to Return to Sweden

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers
Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

Another former Flyer is saying goodbye to the NHL, although he isn't saying goodbye to hockey. After seeing Wayne Simmonds, Jeff Carter, and Jakub Voracek all recently retire, Flyers fans have to say goodbye to Oskar Lindblom. The former fan favorite is leaving the NHL and is returning to his native Sweden, playing for Brynäs IF in the Swedish Hockey League.

Lindblom was a fifth-round pick for the Flyers in 2017 after previously starring for Brynäs IF, winning the SHL Forward of the Year in 2016-17 after scoring 22 goals with 25 assists. He quickly moved up through the Flyers' system and debuted in 2017-18, scoring two goals in 23 games.

The following year was his breakout year. As a rookie, he scored 17 goals with 16 assists. That was good for sixth on the team in goals and eighth overall. This was also done on a Flyers team that fired Dave Hakstol mid-season and just missed the playoffs at season's end. With a resume like that, there were big things expected of Lindblom.

The 2019-20 season started well for Lindblom. He played in 30 games, scored 11 goals and had 18 assists. Then he got sick. He was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. It was treatable, but he had to endure treatments of radiation and chemotherapy. As anyone who's had a family member or friend go through cancer, you know these treatments can take a lot out of you.

However, the world went into shock around the same time as COVID-19 hit. The NHL was shut down and then restarted in a bubble. The Flyers went to the playoffs. In a heroic move, Lindblom returned for game six against the New York Islanders. More importantly, he scored the first goal of the game in his first game back.

The Flyers would end up losing that series, but it's hard not to get choked up at the scene of two teams rallying around one guy. His ordeal and his demeanor helped win the hearts of Flyers fans everywhere.

He returned the next season, but you could tell he lost a step. Over the next two seasons, he scored a combined 20 goals. His contract was bought out and he would play for the San Jose Sharks. He scored six goals last season and appeared in just one game for almost 12 minutes this year.

Now, as a free agent, he returns to the club in Sweden where his career started. He's still living out his dream of playing hockey, even if it isn't over on this side of the Atlantic. Who knows, maybe he'll return one day. But for one magic moment, he was everyone's favorite Flyer. We wish him the best of luck and the best of health.