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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born February 28, 1973 (1973-02-28) (age 37),
London, ON, CAN
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
245 lb (111 kg; 17 st 7 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Right
Pro clubs Philadelphia Flyers (1992–2000)
New York Rangers (2001–2004)
Toronto Maple Leafs (2005–2006)
Dallas Stars (2006–2007)
Ntl. team  Canada
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1991
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1992 – 2007

Eric Bryan Lindros (pronounced /ˈlɪndrɒs/; born February 28, 1973 in London, Ontario) is a former Canadian professional ice hockey player. He was the first overall pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. He retired in November 2007, after playing the 2006–07 season with the Dallas Stars.

Contents

Personal life

The son of Carl and Bonnie Lindros, Eric has Swedish heritage. The name "Lindros" means "Rose of the Linden tree." His great grandfather Axel immigrated to Canada from Sweden, and Eric is the third generation of the Lindros family to be born in Canada. Carl Lindros received a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and became a Chartered Accountant; he would later be Eric's agent.

Hockey career

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Junior career (1989–1992)

As a teenage power forward playing minor hockey, Lindros became nationally famous both for his scoring feats and his ability to physically dominate players older than himself. He attended Monarch Park and later St. Michael's College School in Toronto with his brother and fellow hockey player, Brett Lindros. Both brothers at one time or another (Eric in 1988–89) played for the school's Metro Junior "B" St. Michael's Buzzers before moving up to the OHL. Lindros' play made him the most highly valued amateur player in North America and he was often nicknamed "The Next One", a reference to Wayne Gretzky's moniker "The Great One."

Throughout his career, Lindros has been tagged with various other nicknames, including "The Big E", which was originally the nickname of the USS Enterprise, the famous World War II aircraft carrier. The hype around Lindros during his early career led to an exclusive deal with sports card manufacturer SCORE. Attempting to leverage this arrangement as much as possible, he was even featured on a baseball card showing him as a third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays, although the closest he came to a professional baseball career was taking batting practice one day with the Blue Jays.[1]

A controversy arose when Lindros refused to go to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds after they drafted him from St. Michael's.[2] Lindros had already stated his intention not to join the Greyhounds, but Greyhounds owner Phil Esposito drafted him anyway, enabling Esposito to sell his share in the team at a higher price. Lindros was traded to the Oshawa Generals instead, and when they played the Greyhounds, some Greyhound players wore black armbands in protest of Lindros' antics.

He played parts of three seasons for the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) from 1990 to 1992. During that time, he scored 97 goals and had 119 assists in 95 games played. Lindros helped lead the Generals to the 1990 J. Ross Robertson Cup, and a 1990 Memorial Cup victory. During the 1990–91 OHL season, Lindros won the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy as top scorer, the Red Tilson Trophy as MVP, the CHL Player of the Year award, and the CHL Top Draft Prospect Award.

On March 6, 2008, the Oshawa Generals retired his #88, just the second number to be retired by the franchise, and it was declared Eric Lindros Day in Oshawa.[3]

1991 NHL Entry Draft

Lindros' entry to the National Hockey League proceeded in much the same manner. Lindros was selected first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Lindros had signaled in advance that he would never play for the Nordiques, citing distance, lack of marketing potential, and having to speak French. He went as far as to refuse to wear the team's jersey on draft day; the team selected him anyway. The Nordiques president publicly announced that they would make Lindros the centrepiece of their franchise turnaround, and refused to trade Lindros, saying that he would not have a career in the NHL as long as he held out. Because of Lindros' popularity and hype, it is alleged that the NHL President intervened to get the Nordiques to trade him, as it would otherwise damage the image of the league.[citation needed] While he awaited a trade, Lindros spent the time playing with the Oshawa Generals and also participated in the 1992 Winter Olympics, winning a Silver Medal.

In 1992, the Nordiques worked out trades for him with both the New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers. Eventually an arbitrator, Larry Bertuzzi (granduncle of Todd Bertuzzi),[4] ruled in favour of the Flyers, for whom Lindros played from 1992 to 2000, most of the time as the team's captain.[5]

Many consider this trade a key reason that the Colorado Avalanche (the new name of the Nordiques after they relocated before the 1995 season), went on to be an NHL powerhouse. They received in the trade eventual Hart Trophy winner Peter Forsberg, as well as Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) in 1993, a 1st round selection (later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, later traded to the Washington Capitals - Nolan Baumgartner) in 1994, and $15,000,000 cash. Since the trade, the Avalanche have won eight division titles and two Stanley Cup championships, due in part to the play of Forsberg, and the later addition of Patrick Roy, whom the Avalanche received in a later package deal that included Thibault.[6]

The trade between the Nordiques and the Rangers that was ruled invalid by the arbitrator had Lindros being traded for Doug Weight, Tony Amonte, Alexei Kovalev, John Vanbiesbrouck, three first round draft picks (1993, 1994 & 1995) and $12 million.[7]

Philadelphia Flyers

With his imposing physical strength and playmaking ability, Lindros established himself as the top player on a Flyers team that had perennially been in contention but always fell short. His time in Philadelphia would see him score points at a phenomenal rate (for much of his first 5 seasons in the NHL, Lindros hovered around 4th all-time in points per game) and become one of the most feared players in the NHL, eventually leading the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1997 (which they lost to the Detroit Red Wings); he would also suffer frequent injuries and feud with general manager Bobby Clarke.

Along with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg, he played on the "Legion of Doom" line. He scored over 40 goals in each of his first two seasons and won the Hart Trophy as MVP in the lockout-shortened season of 1995 by scoring 29 goals and 41 assists in 46 games. He led the Flyers to the Stanley Cup finals in 1997, handily defeating their three opponents along the way. The Flyers were overmatched against the Detroit Red Wings, however, and were swept in the series, with Lindros managing to score his only goal in the dying minutes of Game 4 to cut the score to 2-1. In 1998, Lindros, only 25 years old, was ranked number 54 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players of all time. The only player of comparable age was No. 37-ranked Jaromir Jagr, who was 26 at the time.

Lindros' relationship with Flyers general manager Bobby Clarke soon deteriorated. He and Clarke feuded in the media, with Clarke questioning his toughness; Lindros spent many games on the injured reserve and suffered a series of concussions, the first in 1998 from a hit delivered by Pittsburgh's Darius Kasparaitis that sidelined him for 18 games.[8][9] During an April 1, 1999, game against the Nashville Predators, Lindros suffered what was diagnosed as a rib injury. Later that night, the teammate he was sharing a hotel room with, Keith Jones, discovered Lindros lying in a tub, pale and cold. In a call to the Flyers, the trainer was told to put Lindros on a plane that was returning to Philadelphia with injured team mate Mark Recchi. But Jones insisted that Lindros be taken to a nearby hospital and it was discovered Lindros had a collapsed lung caused by internal bleeding of his chest wall. Lindros's father wrote the Flyers a letter in which he stated that if the trainer had followed team orders, Eric would be dead, a statement supported by the doctors who treated him in Nashville.

The following season, he was stripped of his captaincy after criticizing team doctors. Once again plagued by concussions, Lindros returned in the Eastern Conference Finals, in which he played the final two games of the series, the latter of which Lindros suffered yet another concussion after a hit by New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens. The Flyers lost the final game and the series, and Lindros became a restricted free agent during the off-season. He refused to accept a 2-way qualifying offer with a minor league provision from the Flyers, who still owned his rights. After Lindros was cleared to play in December, the Flyers refused to deal his rights to the Toronto Maple Leafs, as he preferred, and Lindros sat out the rest of 2000–01 NHL season.

New York Rangers

Flyers GM Bobby Clarke eventually traded Lindros to the New York Rangers on August 20, 2001 for Jan Hlaváč, Kim Johnsson, Pavel Brendl, and a 2003 3rd-round draft choice (Štefan Ružička).

He played for the Rangers for the next three seasons. Though his second season with them was the first injury-free one of his career (albeit his first season averaging under one point a game), in 2004 he sustained his eighth concussion. He was given permission by a doctor to resume training; however, two doctors who had never examined or treated him suggested Lindros retire. He again became an unrestricted free agent.

Toronto Maple Leafs

On August 11, 2005, after the NHL labour dispute had canceled the 2004–05 season, Lindros signed a one-year, $1.55 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 2005–06 NHL season. After a steady start to his tenure with Toronto in which he recorded 22 points in 32 games, Lindros suffered a tear of a ligament in his left wrist against the Dallas Stars on December 10, 2005. After a 27-game absence, Lindros returned to the Toronto lineup on February 28, 2006, against the Washington Capitals. His return was brief, however, as he re-injured his wrist while taking a slapshot in a game against the Ottawa Senators on March 5, 2006, effectively ending his season. He had surgery on the wrist at the Hand and Upper Limb Centre in London, Ontario two days after the game.

Dallas Stars and Retirement

Lindros signed a one-year contract for the 2006–07 NHL season with the Dallas Stars on July 17, 2006.[10]

Lindros officially announced his retirement on November 8, 2007, in London, Ontario.[11]

Post-playing career

On November 11, 2007, three days after his retirement, the NHL Players Association appointed Lindros to the newly created position of NHLPA ombudsman. Lindros had been involved with the organization throughout his career.[12] Lindros cut ties with the NHL Players' Association on February 3, 2009, resigning as ombudsman after 15 months on the job.[13]

Transactions

Awards

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1989–90 Oshawa Generals OHL 25 17 19 36 61 17 18 18 36 76
1990–91 Oshawa Generals OHL 57 71 78 149 189 16 18 20 38 93
1991–92 Oshawa Generals OHL 13 9 22 31 54
1992–93 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 61 41 34 75 147
1993–94 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 65 44 53 97 103
1994–95 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 46 29 41 70 60 12 4 11 15 18
1995–96 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 47 68 115 163 12 6 6 12 43
1996–97 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 52 32 47 79 136 19 12 14 26 40
1997–98 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 63 30 41 71 134 5 1 2 3 17
1998–99 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 71 40 53 93 120
1999–00 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 55 27 32 59 83 2 1 0 1 0
2001–02 New York Rangers NHL 72 37 36 73 138
2002–03 New York Rangers NHL 81 19 34 53 141
2003–04 New York Rangers NHL 39 10 22 32 60
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 33 11 11 22 43
2006–07 Dallas Stars NHL 49 5 21 26 70 3 0 0 0 4
NHL totals 760 372 493 865 1398 53 24 33 57 122

International play

Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Gold 2002 Salt Lake City Ice hockey
Silver 1992 Albertville Ice hockey

Played for Canada in:

Quotes

By Lindros

  • "Right now my focus is the 'PA work, I'm not really concerned about the rest of it. But the last couple of years have been pretty frustrating in terms of not getting through without being injury-free. It's just frustrating."[14]
  • "My decision to retire from professional hockey is something that I have been considering for some time and did not come easily, I will miss the day-to-day activity of being a member of a team and the camaraderie that I developed with my teammates will never be forgotten. I played with the best, I played against the best — it was a blast. It really truly was, I enjoyed myself immensely."[15]

About Lindros

  • "He had it all: size, strength and finesse, It is unfortunate injuries cut his time in the NHL short, but he had a great career and left his mark on the game." - John LeClair.[15]
  • "Yes, based on his ability to play the game and based on his contributions as a player, I think you have to separate all the crap that went on. Particularly 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, on whether Lindros should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.[16]

References

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Owen Nolan
1st overall pick in NHL Entry Draft
1991
Succeeded by
Roman Hamrlik
Preceded by
Owen Nolan
Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
1991
Succeeded by
Todd Warriner
Preceded by
Mike Ricci
CHL Player of the Year
1991
Succeeded by
Charles Poulin
Preceded by
Mark Recchi
Winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy
1994, 1995, 1996
Succeeded by
John LeClair
Preceded by
Sergei Fedorov
Winner of the Hart Trophy
1995
Succeeded by
Mario Lemieux
Preceded by
John LeClair
Winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy
1999
Succeeded by
Mark Recchi
Preceded by
Peter Forsberg
EA Sports NHL Cover Athlete
NHL '99
Succeeded by
Chris Pronger
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Kevin Dineen
Philadelphia Flyers captains
19942000
Succeeded by
Eric Desjardins

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