After being bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers, Oskar Lindblom is getting a fresh start. He has signed a two-year contract with the San Jose Sharks and Pierre LeBrun adds that it will carry a $2.5MM average annual value.
General manager Mike Grier released a statement:
Oskar is a proven forward who can provide offensive upside in the middle of our lineup. He has overcome significant obstacles in his young career and his strength and desire to play hockey is immeasurable. We are happy to have him join our organization.
Lindblom was once one of the more promising young forwards in the Flyers organization, outperforming his fifth-round pick status and scoring 17 goals and 33 points in 2018-19. Lindblom showed an ability to effectively use his size and strength to create chances and looked like a potential middle-six scoring option with room to grow.
Then, Lindblom was hit with an immense challenge. In December 2019, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and had to focus his energy, not on his battles on the ice but on his new fight off of it. Lindblom’s story rallied the entire hockey world behind him, and he eventually made his return to Philadelphia’s lineup, even featuring in the team’s three-round run in the 2020 playoffs. Lindblom won the 2021 Bill Masterton Trophy, but unfortunately, the end of his tenure in Philadelphia serves as a sobering reminder that hockey is a business above all else.
Since returning from his absence, Lindblom has been unable to rediscover the form that made him such a promising young player in 2018-19. Lindblom had 12 goals and 26 points in 2021-22, not bad production by any means but certainly not worth the $3MM they were paying him. Working against Lindblom as well was the fact that the Flyers would not only get out from under the full weight of his $3MM cap hit, but they would also get a small cap credit as well from buying him out.
So the math became simple for GM Chuck Fletcher, paving the way for Lindblom to land in San Jose. For the Sharks, if Lindblom can rediscover the form he showed earlier in his career he can be an important player in their lineup. But even if he doesn’t, $2.5MM isn’t an unreasonable price to pay for what he will provide.