25-year-old forward Oskar Lindblom signed with the San Jose Sharks as a free agent on Wednesday. Speaking with the media, Lindblom cited a good talk with management as his reason for signing: “It felt like the right way to sign there and I’m really happy to do it. I’m excited for the season to start.”
The Swedish forward was insistent that he is looking forward to a fresh start in San Jose.
Lindblom notched 17 goals and 16 assists in his sophomore 2018-19 campaign, and he looked like he was on his way to a long career with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, in Dec. 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, effectively ending his season. The cancer diagnosis did not stop the Flyers from awarding Lindblom with a three-year, $9 million dollar contract in Jan. 2020.
Six months later, his cancer treatment completed, Lindblom came back to appear in 50 games in 2020-21. However, his production dipped with just eight goals and six assists. The following season, Lindblom still couldn’t find his pre-cancer diagnosis game, and the Flyers bought out his contract this past week.
“My last two years, I haven’t been where I wanted to be,” he said. “So I feel like now it’s time to step it up and get to the level I want to.”
The Sharks showed their faith in the Swedish winger by signing him to a two-year, $5 million dollar contract.
“It’s been tough mentally to just try and grind and try and get through it all. I think that’s a good thing to get a new start and a fresh start with the Sharks,” he said.
Lindblom mentioned that he thinks that he’s getting back to his pre-diagnosis level of fitness.
San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier said Lindblom is the exact kind of player that he’s looking to add to the organization, in terms of style and age: “It’s exactly the profile we’re looking for. We think there’s a lot of upside to him. He’s scored 17 goals before in this league, I think there’s room for more. He’s a good player, he’s a hard player. He’s been through a lot, like we all know, and that just shows the kind of person and character he has.”
Lindblom was quick to impress Grier, and he should do the same for a locker room that he doesn’t know well.
“We have my Swede Erik Karlsson there, so I’ll try to talk to him and see what he says and show me around the city or where I should live and all that,” he said, smiling.
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