It all started with a blocked shot in Boston’s win over the Detroit Red Wings on March 11. That was when Bruins defenseman Hampus Lindholm’s season took a turn.
Lindholm would miss the next game with a swollen foot, but with the depth Boston had on the blue line, head coach Jim Montgomery was platooning the defensemen and it allowed the 29-year-old the opportunity to heal — or so everyone thought.
In the playoffs, Lindholm didn’t appear to be as fluid as he was during the regular season. In the seven games he played, Lindholm skated an average of 21:40 minutes of ice time and didn’t register a single point, a far cry from the stats he put up during the regular season. However, he never gave the impression his foot was the issue.
“I’d say I was fine. Everyone has bumps and bruises that time of year. There’s no excuses on that stuff,” Lindholm said during the exit interview day at Warrior Ice Arena on May 2. “I think even if you were to have something linger — like we had guys play through stuff. It’s just that time of year. You try to find ways. We couldn’t really do that this year.”
Fast forward two weeks and the defenseman revealed to the Swedish newspaper Sportbladet that the injury was in fact more than just a swollen foot.
“I found out this morning that I have been playing with a fracture in one foot for the past month, so I, unfortunately, had to turn down the (World Championship) game earlier today,” Hampus said in a text message per a story published by Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman on May 9.
Several Swedish NHL players, including Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, Red Wings forwards Lucas Raymond and Jonatan Berggren and Washington Capitals defenseman Rasmus Sandin are committed to playing for the national team in the tournament that starts on Friday in Tampere, Finland and Riga, Latvia.
Lindholm appeared to be ready to join the team prior to receiving the news about his foot.
“I was really excited and it feels so sad to be able to represent Tre Kronor, especially when I feel so good in my own game,” Lindholm continued in the text. “Sam Hallam also feels like a great person and coach.”