Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hoss Hall Of Fame Induction: Eric Lindros

The Hoss Hall of Fame is an elite group of honoured Hosses who have powered their way through hockey with hard hits, thrilling fights, and offensive flair to be the complete package.
The Big E was one of the most powerful players in the 1990s, and could not only hurt you by putting pucks in the net, but he could run you over with his 6'4", 240lbs frame. His dominating physical presence on the ice helped establish Eric Lindros as one of the elite power forwards in hockey history. While Lindros may never reach the Hockey Hall of Fame, his style of play earns him a spot in our Hoss Hall of Fame.

Lindros had a lot of hype before he even played in the NHL, and we can only imagine what his hype-level would have been if social media was around in 1990. When he was 18, Lindros already had an autobiographical book out titled Fire and Ice, and had already signed an exclusive hockey card deal with SCORE. Before Lindros had even played an NHL game, he had won two gold medals at the World Junior Hockey Championships, the 1991 Canada Cup title, and a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games. Quite impressive for a teenager.

Here's how he tossed guys around as a 19-year-old in his rookie season:


Lindros took the NHL by storm with his strength and offence as he threw his body around with the big boys and put up impressive point totals. In his first five seasons he recorded 436 points in 297 games for a points/game of 1.47 which put him around the same pace as Mike Bossy and only behind Gretzky and Lemieux. During his dominant years he would capture the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most valuable player. Even before his first concussion in 1998, Lindros maintained a career 1.41 points/game (that would drop to .90 for the rest of his career and 1.14 overall - good enough for 19th all-time). He put up these big numbers all while being one of the most feared players on the ice.
"When he played for the Flyers, it was just outstanding, dominant hockey — the first of the huge, big men with small man's skill." - Bobby Clarke
This was "Eric Lindros hockey" in his prime:


Lindros may be considered a baby by some for his refusal to play for certain teams and his contract hold out with the Flyers, but there is no denying his skillset as the ultimate power forward. Unfortunately, playing a physical game takes a toll on your body and Lindros was unable to play a healthy season throughout his career. The worst of his injuries were the concussions he suffered, and given what we know about them now and the precautions taken, you have to wonder how he kept coming back. The official total was eight concussions which is an astonishingly high number and likely means Lindros will be dealing with a brain injury the rest of his life, but we'll never forget how he played the game.

5 comments:

  1. Used to love watching him play and run over guys. He's a legend in my mind.

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  2. Lindros was awesome. Wish he skated with his head up though.

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  3. That big hit and goal in the World Cup was awesome.

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  4. A superstar with a melon sized Achilles heel. A true shame his full potential was never realized over a longer career. Still, at his best he was top 3 in the league.

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  5. I've watched that Lumme/Murzyn clip 5 times now. Just great.

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