Oskar Lindblom and Scott Laughton were added to the NHL’s Covid protocol yesterday. With all respect to Laughton, and the other Flyers (Travis Sanheim, Justin Braun, Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek) on Covid Protocol, all that is going through the crazy that is my mind is Please, God, please…not Oskar Lindblom. That young man has suffered enough.
My son, who happens to be my favorite human on the planet, because I made that, and I have spent a lot of time together because of Covid-19. I am working from home, and he is taking his freshman year classes from home as well. (Don’t get me started on the ‘lab’ fees I am paying, it is a pain point for me). He asked me on Wednesday how my blog post was going, and I tried to explain to him that I was having trouble getting it together. It is a post about Ron Hextall, the Flyers being family, and how Mike Sielski does not understand that.
He asked me if I had writer’s block, and I tried to explain what the problem was. In his first semester (Dean’s List, Presidential Award of Academic Excellence) he took a writing class, and he hated it. The class taught building proper sentence structure, focus sentences, and conclusion paragraphs. He would frequently ask me for help while completing his assignments, and I was at a loss. I could sense his frustration; he knows that I love to write and admires my work. Why wouldn’t I help him? The truth is, I don’t write ‘assignments’. I am sure my writing structure would cause his Professor to have a stroke, but I write from my heart and soul.
Hockey lives in my soul, but it does have a few companions. The aforementioned handsome, brilliant child has the largest piece of my heart, but my soul? Hockey. Writing. Music. Cooking. Reading. These are the things that give me peace when I am struggling, joy when I need it, and make me who I am. I have lost myself for a lot of reasons over the past few years; a coworker reminded me of the person that I have lost. A new found friend reminded me last night that I need to get back to the things that nourish my soul, and writing is one of them. You know who you are; I hope you are both reading this and know that I am working to get back to where I need to be.
This piece is coming so much easier than the Hextall/Sielski piece; because my both my heart and soul are aching today. When the news broke that Oskar had been placed on the Covid Protocol list, my greatest fear about this hockey season was realized. Not that the season would not be completed, not that the Flyers would not make the playoffs, and not that the Leafs would finish higher than the Flyers, causing me to lose a bet with the above mentioned coworker; but Oskar. God no, not Oskar. I have mentioned it previously, but being a mom has changed me that way; it has made me realize how fragile and precious life is.
When the news of Oskar being added to the Covid Protocol broke, my son and I were in the middle of a theological discussion. Did I mention he is my favorite human? And brilliant? And handsome? Oh, and single? (Applications to date him are being accepted and reviewed by me, thanks). He struggled to ask me what came down to what my belief is, religion wise. Simply put, I believe that there are two opposing forces in the universe, good and evil. I call this my Stephen King theory of religion; while King is classed as a horror writer, I see a deeper meaning in most of his books. Many of his books come down to the base of good versus evil. Dark Man versus the Gunslinger. Pennywise versus the Losers and the turtle. Randall Flagg versus Mother Abigail.
I often joke that after all of the tragedies that have befallen the Flyers, I want Carter Hart locked away, just shy of “It rubs the lotion on it’s skin or it gets the hose again”. Bubble wrap, a protective helmet, packing peanuts, whatever it takes to keep him safe. The hockey gods certainly would not dare take another goalie from this organization, would they? As it turns out, it was not a goalie that the Dark Man had his eyes on, but another Swede. Another young man with an easy smile, a sunny outlook on life that would endear him to the Philadelphia fans, much as Pelle had. A young man that would receive the support of the entire hockey community during his fight with Ewing’s Sarcoma. A young man who would fight like hell to come back to his life, to his passion, and play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year having kicked cancer’s ass in about ten months.
While I have offered up prayer for every human that has been impacted by Covid-19, and all of the Flyers that are now struggling being away from the game that is their passion, today is about Oskar. On this day, I am begging those powers, please, please not Oskar. End the season; give the Stanley Cup to the Maple Leafs; whatever deal will satisfy you and allow you to spare Oskar.
Photo Credit: Philadelphia Flyers Twitter
Image from CBS All Access The Stand/ Robert Falconer, CBS