NHL's Oskar Lindblom Diagnosed with Rare Cancer ... Out for Season

Breaking News
Getty

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and will miss the rest of the season to focus on treatment, the team announced.

23-year-old Lindblom is a rising star in the NHL -- he already has 18 points in 30 games this season ... impressive for someone so young.

But, Friday the team announced Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma -- which is described by St. Jude's as "a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones (soft tissue)."

Only about 200 children and young adults are diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma each year in the United States.

The good news ... the cancer is treatable and people diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma have a good chance of beating it, according to WebMD.

The Flyers say Lindblom "will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter."

"He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season."

The team added, "The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available."

"Out of respect for Oskar and his family the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health."

NHL's Tim Thomas Brain Damage Made Me a Recluse 'I Didn't Talk To Anybody'

Breaking News
Getty

Ex-NHL star Tim Thomas is explaining why he vanished from the public after his retirement in 2013 ... saying he's been dealing with serious brain damage from a concussion.

45-year-old Thomas -- a 2011 Stanley Cup champ and Boston Bruins legend -- got emotional with reporters before his U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction on Thursday ... saying his everyday life was changed after a blow he suffered in his final season.

"I woke up the next morning after it and I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat, where I wanted to go," Thomas explained.

"I couldn't plan a schedule. I survived following the team schedule the rest of the year and just made it through that season."

Thomas said his condition worsened to the point where he moved to the woods to avoid speaking with people close to him ... and didn't watch hockey because he couldn't keep up with it.

"I couldn't communicate with anybody for a few years," Thomas said.

"I didn't call my dad. I didn't talk to anybody. There was a time period where I hated the game, so to speak ... My rebound effect was like, this wasn't worth it."

Thomas says he's gotten much better recently ... thanks to recovery methods like oxygen therapy and water with ionic minerals.

Thomas said it was tough for him to speak with reporters on Thursday ... but ultimately felt it was the right thing to do and was happy to tell his story.

Hockey's Akim Aliu Team Staffer Used Blackface ... to Impersonate Me

Exclusive Details
THINGS NEED TO CHANGE
TMZSports.com

Pro hockey player Akim Aliu tells TMZ Sports the racism he was forced to endure over the years held him back from reaching his full potential ... and the proof is in the racist pictures.

You're looking at pics of Aliu at the 2011 Halloween party for the Colorado Eagles -- which, at the time, was the minor league affiliate for the Winnipeg Jets.

Aliu says when he arrived to the party, he was greeted by the team's equipment manager Tony Deynzer, who was dressed up as Aliu in blackface -- complete with a custom jersey sporting Aliu's nickname, "Dreamer."

"The hardest thing about that ... just how much planning went into that," Aliu tells us.

"He got my jersey made, so that means this was planned in advance."

Aliu says people at the party laughed at him -- and his instinct was to raise hell and cause a scene -- but he was new to the club and there were families at the party "so I tried to play it off as cool as possible."

A short time later, Aliu says he demanded to be traded to another club.

It's just one of the MANY examples of racism black players at all levels of hockey have been forced to deal with. Aliu recently made headlines after revealing NHL coach Bill Peters hurled the n-word during a locker room rant back in the day.

"It's been a tough road and obviously I’ve bumped into a lot of barriers with racism and discrimination," Aliu says.

"People don’t really understand how bad it is unless you’re on the inside of the hockey world, inside the hockey establishment. I’ve dealt with a lot. I think my career has faltered because of that."

Now, 30-year-old Aliu says he wants to help fix the racism issues affecting the sport he loves.

"I think there’s still been failure to agree to the fact that we have a systematic problem in the National Hockey League and in hockey in general. From grassroots, from Tykes to all the way up to the professional rank."

"I think [hockey officials] need to come together with minorities and people that have been affected by these issues, and talk to them, and get together and say, 'Hey, what did you guys experience? How do you feel about what’s going on? How do you feel about moving forward? What ideas do you have moving forward for us?"

As for the Colorado Eagles, the team insists they had no prior knowledge about the blackface incident -- but says they are sorry and won't let it happen again.

Flames Coach Bill Peters Fired for Hurling N-Word in 2009

Getty

The NHL investigation into Flames coach Bill Peters using the n-word was pretty swift and decisive -- the team fired him Friday morning.

The probe started 4 days ago, when former NHL player Akim Aliu, who is black, tweeted about Peters managing him on a minor league team in 2009. Aliu said Peters walked into the Rockford Ice Hogs locker room and complained about his pre-game music choices -- saying, "Hey, Akim, I'm sick of you playing that n***** s**t."

Aliu says Peters added, "I'm sick of hearing this n*****s f**king other n*****s in the ass stuff."

WE'RE LOOKING INTO IT
NHL Flames

Flames general manager Brad Treliving addressed it immediately after Aliu's tweets and said the team took the allegation very seriously and would be investigating.

Peters didn't deny the incident and wrote an apology letter to the Flames. He said the "statement was made in a moment of frustration and does not reflect my personal values."

Peters also claims he apologized to Aliu and the whole team shortly after making the remarks.

Clearly, a case of too little, too late for the Flames.

NHL's Akim Aliu Accuses Coach Of Racist Insults ... Allegedly Called Music 'N***** S**t'

Breaking News
Getty

10:58 AM PT -- Akim Aliu just spoke further about the racist insults Peters allegedly hurled his way ... and they're disgusting.

"He walked in before a morning pre-game skate and said ‘Hey, Akim, I’m sick of you playing that n***** s**t,'" Aliu told TSN. "He said ‘I’m sick of hearing this n*****s f**king other n*****s in the ass stuff.'"

Aliu added, “He then walked out like nothing ever happened. You could hear a pin drop in the room, everything went dead silent. I just sat down in my stall, didn’t say a word.”

TSN says it spoke with two of Aliu's former teammates who corroborated the story.

Calgary GM Brad Treliving readdressed the media shortly after the report ... and said they have not fired Peters over the allegations yet -- adding the investigation is still ongoing.

A SERIOUS ALLEGATION
Calgary Flames

The NHL has launched an investigation into claims Calgary Flames head coach Bill Peters called a black player the n-word while he was managing a minor league team 10 years ago.

While the Flames were playing the Penguins on Monday ... ex-NHL player Akim Aliu took to Twitter and accused Calgary's coach of hurling racial slurs at him during their time together in 2009.

30-year-old Aliu played for Peters in the 2009-10 season when the guy was coaching the Rockford Ice Hogs ... and Aliu says on multiple occasions, Peters called him the n-word.

"Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music," Aliu said.

Getty

Aliu never mentioned Peters by name in the tweets ... but he made it clear he was talking about the 53-year-old coach when he called him Mike Babcock's "protege."

FYI, Babcock -- who was recently fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs -- coached Peters in college and is considered the guy's biggest hockey mentor.

For their part, the Flames immediately announced they were launching a probe into the allegations ... with general manager Brad Treliving telling reporters they take the claims seriously.

WE'RE LOOKING INTO IT
NHL Flames

The NHL weighed in on the issue Tuesday as well ... saying it's launching a probe too, adding, "The behavior that has been alleged is repugnant and unacceptable."

Peters was not made available to the media after the Flames' game Monday night ... and he's yet to address the allegations himself.

Originally Published -- 7:27 AM PT

NHL's Garnet Hathaway Spits On Opponent ... In Crazy On-Ice Brawl

Breaking News
SPIT TAKE
Courtesy of the NHL

A Washington Capitals player hocked a loogie and spit it all over an Anaheim Ducks player in a crazy brawl Monday night ... and the chaotic scene was all caught on video.

The spitter's name was Garnet Hathaway ... and during the second period of the Caps' game against the Ducks in D.C. -- he got into a tussle with some Anaheim players in a wild play behind the Ducks' net.

The Caps were putting it on Anaheim ... and some of the Ducks took issue with Hathaway's physical play -- and started a scrap all while Washington was scoring a goal.

In the video, you can see Hathaway beating the hell of Ducks center Derek Grant ... before another Anaheim player, Erik Gudbranson, grabbed Hathaway as the fight was dying down.

Gudbranson got in a nasty left jab to Hathaway's face ... so, the Caps' fourth-liner responded with a big ol' gob of spit!!

Of course, the saliva spray ignited another wild melee ... and eventually, the refs calmed down the whole scene by ejecting Hathaway.

After the game, 27-year-old Hathaway apologized for the spit ... but said he only did it because Gudbranson got in a cheap shot on him.

"The refs were trying to break it up, and it felt like there was a couple sucker punches thrown, and I got one there quick and then reacted a little emotionally," Hathaway said.

THE EXPLANATION
Washington Capitals

"And, unfortunately, spit came out of my mouth after I got sucker punched and it went onto him."

As for Gudbranson, he was pissed over it all, saying afterward, "That’s about as low as you dig a pit, really ... it's a bad thing to do. It’s something you just don’t do in our game, and he did it."

Unclear if the NHL will punish Hathaway for the spit ... and the winger said only "time will tell" if he'll have to serve a suspension over the altercation.

By the way, Hathaway ended up with the last laugh ... the Caps won the game, 5-2, and are still considered the best team in the NHL this year.

NHL's Auston Matthews Settles Pants-Dropping Case ... Apologizes Again

Breaking News
LESSON LEARNED
NHL

NHL star Auston Matthews is off the hook in his pants-dropping case ... he settled with the woman who accused him of dropping trou in front her -- and apologized again for the incident on Friday.

"The case has been dismissed and I just want to reiterate again just how truly sorry I am for my actions and my behavior,” Matthews told reporters.

“I never meant to cause any distress to this woman and I can assure you that I’ve learned from my mistakes and my actions."

Matthews allegedly pulled down his pants in front of a female security guard at his condo complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. at around 2 AM on May 26.

The woman claims Matthews and his friends drunkenly tried to play a joke on her by messing with her car door while she was on duty ... and after she confronted them, Matthews took his pants down.

She alleges the 22-year-old Maple Leafs center -- who left his boxers ON -- grabbed his ass cheeks in her direction ... and she was PISSED over the whole ordeal.

RECAPPING THE ENCOUNTER
TMZSports.com

In body cam footage obtained by TMZ Sports, you can hear her explaining the incident to cops ... telling an officer, "None of this s**t is funny!"

Matthews was eventually hit with a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct ... but a court official tells us the case was dismissed earlier this week after the parties reached a settlement.

Unclear what the dollar amount might have been to close out the case ... but Matthews, who claimed he was sorry for the incident in a meeting with reporters over the summer, apologized vehemently again on Friday.

Fun Fact -- Matthews is in the middle of a 5-year, $58 MILLION contract.

"It's obviously not a situation I'd like to be in," Auston said. "But, it's been a big lesson learned for myself."

Alex Ovechkin Rides Topless Nationals Staffer ... Insane D.C. Celebration!!!

Breaking News
WASHINGTON BROMANCE
Washington Nationals

Wanna see Alex Ovechkin get a topless piggyback ride from a husky Washington Nationals staffer?!?!

Good ... 'cause during the insane Nats-Capitals World Series celebration at D.C.'s hockey game Sunday -- Ovi stripped down to bare chest and rode a shirtless Nats BP pitcher around the locker room!!!

The insane scene all went down at Capital One Arena in Washington ... where the Nats continued their weekend-long World Series title celebration with beer and no shirts.

The guys were all over the arena ... they partied in the Caps locker room, they raged in their luxury box -- and they even rode the intermission Zamboni half naked!!

But, the best part of their wild night? After the Caps beat the Calgary Flames, 4-2 ... Nats manager Davey Martinez hooked up Ovi with staffer Ali Modami.

If you're unfamiliar, Modami gained fame earlier this year for giving Brian Dozier a post-home run piggyback ride in the team's dugout.

So, Martinez made him replicate that in the Caps' locker room ... and it was seriously epic!!!

Some other highlights from the party ...

-- After slamming a million Bud Lights, Nats players poured them on fans ... and then signed the empties and threw them to the crowd!!!

-- Adam Eaton hilariously pulled a T.J. Oshie -- drinking a beer right through his Capitals jersey!!!

--The Caps joined in on a post-victory "Baby Shark" dance with the Nationals ... and then sang a little Queen in the locker room!!

#WhatATime

Boston Bruins Stars Bring 'Toy Story' Halloween Party ... To Children's Hospital

To Infinity ... and BEYOND!!

The biggest stars on the Boston Bruins teamed up for the kids on Monday -- busting out their best costumes from 'Toy Story' to spread some Halloween joy at the Boston Children's Hospital and the pics are awesome!

YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME
Boston Bruins

Superstar David Pastrnak -- who's leading the NHL in scoring -- put on his best Rex costume ... along with Brandon Carlo (Hamm), Charlie McAvoy (Toy Alien), Charlie Coyle (Jessie), Danton Heinen (Woody) and Torey Krug (Mr. Potatohead).

The kids were STOKED to see the hockey stars roaming the halls -- where they gave out high fives, hugs and selfies to kids of all ages!

The families were happy too ... because when your kid is stuck in the hospital, seeing them smile is the best thing ever!

So, props to the Bruins (even if you're a Canadians fan) ... and Happy Halloween!

NHL's Mat Barzal Took Hockey Stick to Face I Look Like Kylie Jenner Now!!!

Breaking News

Savage burn from NHL superstar Mat Barzal on Thursday night ... 'cause after he took a hockey stick to the face TWICE -- he said his lips looked like Kylie Jenner's now!!!

The New York Islanders center was popped in the mouth a few times by a high stick in his game against the Winnipeg Jets ... and when he was interviewed about his swollen face at intermission, things took a hilarious turn.

"I feel like Kylie Jenner right now," 22-year-old Barzal said with a laugh ... "But, two high sticks there, it's unfortunate. That's hockey."

Of course, Kylie's fake lips are perhaps more famous than the entire league Barzal plays in ... but still -- BUUUURNNN!!!!

In case you care, Mat fought through the pain to dominate the Jets ... scoring two goals in the Islanders' 3-1 win.

As for his face ... we're pretty sure he's going to be just fine -- but he might not look so hot for a few days.

Maybe a KJ Lip Kit can help???

President Trump To STL Blues Player 'Think I Could Take Him in a Fight?!?'

Breaking News
GOIN' FOR THE K.O.

The St. Louis Blues celebrated their Stanley Cup title at the White House on Tuesday ... with President Trump crackin' jokes and picking hypothetical fights with the players!!!

The champs were honored at 1600 Penn. for beating the Boston Bruins in Game 7 to win it all last season ... and one player, Alexander Steen, got POTUS' attention (for obvious reasons).

"Look at that guy, look at the mouth on that guy," Trump told the crowd. "Come here a minute, come here."

"You think he's taken a few hits? You think I could take him in a fight?! I don't know."

There was more funny business ... with the stars of the team, like Jaden Schwartz, issuing a golf challenge to POTUS ... and Trump calling out rookie Jordan Binnington for giving up ONE goal in Game 7.

"He stopped 32 of 33 [shots], so why didn't you stop the other one, Jordan? You coulda made the game a lot easier!"

CHAMPS IN THE HOUSE
TMZSports.com

The Blues thanked Trump for the hospitality and gave him his own Trump 45 jersey ... and ended it all with one last golf joke.

Taylor Swift Staples Banner Getting Shunned L.A. Kings Fans Hate It

Getty

Taylor Swift won't be showing her face banner anymore when the Los Angeles Kings are in town -- 'cause the fans don't wanna see it ... and the team is obliging.

L.A.'s pro hockey team made the announcement over the weekend ... saying that, going forward, the Kings will be covering up Taylor's banner during their home games at STAPLES Center. It's hanging in the rafters next to Lakers banners and retired jerseys.

@ArashMarkazi

A marketing rep for the Kings told Arash Markazi of the L.A. Times that fans just weren't digging it, so the team wants to show 'em they're listening. Michael Altieri says, "The connection to our fans is our highest priority and through our engagement they have made it clear that the banner shouldn’t be part of their Kings game experience."

NHL's Mark Letestu Crushes Mustard Packet on Bench ... During Game

NHL vet Mark Letestu didn't need a hot dog to enjoy his mustard on Thursday ... 'cause the Winnipeg Jets center downed that yellow stuff straight outta the packet!!

The 34-year-old Canadian turned heads when he was spotted chuggin' some mustard on the bench during the Jets' preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers ... leaving a lot of people wondering what the hell was going on.

Turns out ... it's all in the name of SCIENCE!!! 'cause apparently, mustard has some ingredients like turmeric and vinegar that help prevent cramps.

Hey ... we get it. It's preseason. A lotta dudes are probably cramping up on the ice out there after the offseason. But, it doesn't make it any less weird to see the guy straight-up dowinin' mustard like that.

It's actually not the first time this has been a thing ... NFLer Kerryon Johnson was spotted chugging mustard on the sidelines during his Madison Academy high school game back in 2014.

Heinz better throw Letestu an endorsement deal after this.

Auston Matthews Accuser Was Livid With NHL Star 'None Of This S**t's Funny'

Exclusive
RECAPPING THE ENCOUNTER
TMZSports.com

The woman accusing Auston Matthews of dropping his pants in front of her was LIVID over the whole situation ... saying of the NHL star, "What the f**k were you thinking?!"

It's all in new police video obtained by TMZ Sports ... in which the female security guard tells an officer all about a May 26 incident where she says Matthews and his friends played a VERY unfunny joke on her.

She claims she was working a night shift at Matthews' residence in Scottsdale, AZ, when the hockey player and 2 of his friends tried to open her locked car door at around 2 AM.

As a military veteran ... she says she was legitimately frightened by the actions -- and then outraged when 22-year-old Matthews and his friends told her it was all just a joke.

"The minute you try to invade my space, what the f**k were you thinking saying, 'We wanted to see how you'd react if we got into the back of your car'?" the woman says.

"Are you serious right now?!? And then, they thought, 'Oh, you're a veteran so you're packing?' None of this s**t is funny!"

The woman also told the officer all about the scene where Matthews pulled down his pants ... saying one of Auston's friends tried to make her laugh over the whole thing.

"He turns around and he's like, 'You see that s**t he's doing? He's been doing that up and down Scottsdale Road. I keep telling him that he can get arrested by cops. And, he's like he doesn't give a s**t.'"

The woman adds, "And, he's laughing because he thinks I would laugh at the fact that his pants are down."

The woman also says Matthews' father tried to accuse her of lying about the whole situation when the condo's manager brought it up with him ... but said they were able to show him video of it all.

Eventually, the woman tells the cop she wants to press charges against Matthews.

In more police footage obtained by TMZ Sports ... you can see an officer try to interview the Maple Leafs star at his condo -- but he doesn't respond to the knocks.

OPEN UP!!!
TMZSports.com

Matthews is now fighting a disorderly conduct charge in Scottsdale ... and he said of the whole incident to reporters on Wednesday, "I regret any of my actions that would ever put a distraction on the team or distress any individual."

He added, "I take a lot of pride in preparing myself for the season and representing the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as I can. Unfortunately, due to the situation, I’m afraid I can’t really make any other comments."

Auston is due back in court next month to face the charge.

NHL's Auston Matthews Allegedly Drops Pants in Front of Female Guard Charged With Disorderly Conduct

Breaking News
Getty

8:59 AM PT -- Matthews spoke with media about the charges on Wednesday ... saying "I regret any of my actions or whatever put a distraction on the team or distress any individual."

"I take a lot of pride in preparing myself for the season and representing the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as I can. So, unfortunately, due to the situation, I can't really make any other comments."

Leafs coach Mike Babcock also spoke about the incident ... calling it an "unfortunate situation," and saying he was not aware of the allegations until Tuesday night.

NHL superstar Auston Matthews is facing disorderly conduct charges in AZ ... after the Maple Leafs center allegedly dropped trou and grabbed his ass in front of a female security guard, TMZ Sports has confirmed.

According to the police report ... the guard was sitting in her vehicle outside Matthews' condo complex in Scottsdale around 2 AM on May 26 ... when the 22-year-old and his friends tried to open the locked car door.

The guard -- who claims the group appeared to be drunk -- says the guys thought it would be funny ... but she didn't consider it a laughing matter.

In the report, the guard claims Matthews started to walk away when he dropped his pants to his ankles and grabbed his butt cheeks -- while keeping his skivvies on.

According to the report ... the whole interaction is on video, showing a man walking towards the building's elevator with his pants around his ankles.

The guard filed a complaint with cops a few days later ... and was ultimately charged with 1 count of disorderly conduct.

Matthews -- the #1 overall pick in 2016 -- has a hearing later this week.

Matthews is a STUD on the ice -- he's had more than 200 points in 3 seasons and just inked a $58 million contract extension earlier this year.

Matthews' NHL squad released a statement on Tuesday ... saying “The Toronto Maple Leafs are aware of the complaint of disturbing the peace against forward Auston Matthews."

"Auston is cooperating fully with the relevant authorities but neither he nor the Club will comment any further out of respect for the process involved.”

Originally Published -- 9/42 4:30 PM PT

NHL's Mike Richter Trump Needs To Take Climate Change Seriously ... Please!!!

Exclusive
SAVE THE ICE
TMZSports.com

NHL legend Mike Richter -- one of the best U.S. goalies EVER -- is pleading with Donald Trump to take climate change seriously ... telling TMZ Sports the crisis is real and it's affecting hockey!!

Richter was in Washington D.C. this week giving a speech to the Senate Committee about climate change when we got him out and asked why he's so passionate about the cause.

That's when he told us he believes everyday life is being affected by the changes ... including people who want to play pond hockey in America!!!

As for his message to Trump -- a noted non-believer in climate change -- Richter tells us he wishes No. 45 would start taking a bigger role to help ease the issue.

"My problem is with people with solutions in their hand not taking advantage of them," Richter says.

Mike tells us if Trump would get onboard with making a bigger effort ... he thinks it could help tremendously, telling us, "The moment he does that, the moment we're in a better place."

By the way, Richter -- who's 52 now -- looks great ... especially after the dude played 14 seasons in the net for the New York Rangers!!!