It may be a bit early to start talking about Claude Giroux’s captaincy successor, but there is one name that is rising above the crowd in the crop of youngsters that will be here for the foreseeable future. While we many never know what goes on behind closed doors of the locker room, we sure have an idea of what goes out in the public, and one man that has become a leader is 24-year-old Oskar Lindblom.
There’s always talk about who will be the next captain. Some fans are convinced Giroux should’ve been stripped of the “C” years ago, and while that wing of fan base is what we like to call “stupid” it is true Giroux isn’t getting any younger and will need to be replaced sooner or later. He recently passed Bobby Clarke as the longest tenured captain in Flyers’ history with 611 games as the head honcho.
Lindblom was in the midst of a breakout season, scoring 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games before the crushing news of his ewing’s sarcoma cancer diagnosis in December of 2019. Some men might have crumbled at that kind of news, but not Lindblom. He was still a regular at the Wells Fargo Center whenever he was able, showing up in the locker room after games, hanging out during practices in the morning, and even taking a seat in the pressbox to the adulation of the Flyers’ faithful.
He was declared cancer free in July and made the trek to Toronto to join the Flyers in their last two playoff games against the Islanders. He spent the offseason working out and regaining the muscle mass he lost during his treatments and was cleared and ready to go to start the season.
Lindblom hasn’t just returned to the NHL, he has also decided to be a banner bearer for cancer awareness. He was granted permission by the league to wear a lavender ribbon sticker on the back of his helmet for the season and has been very active in communicating with fellow cancer patients and educating members of the community. He has preached a sermon of positivity about his experiences and his mindset from surviving cancer.
Unlike most players who don the orange and black, he is unanimously beloved by the fanbase and team, and might be the perfect player to wear the “C” can lead the team on the ice as well.
As far as other options go, there is a relatively small group to choose from. Guys like Couturier, Voracek, and Hayes are all close to the same age as Giroux and will be older when he eventually relinquishes the title. It’s possible guys like Konecny, Patrick, or Farabee will be considered, but the most realistic option that is the heir to the throne is Ivan Provorov, who was given an “A” this season for the first time. Though he always felt like a quite, lead by example kind of player, which may not translate to the best captain.
Lindblom may not be the best player on the ice, but that shouldn’t always determine who gets the “C.” If Lindblom inspires the team around him with his courageous battle and inspires positivity with his mindset and speech, that may be the perfect mix to lead the team.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: si.com