Philadelphia Flyers: Eric Lindros was just good not great

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 13: Eric Lindros
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 13: Eric Lindros /

The greatest tragedy of former Philadelphia Flyers player Eric Lindros‘ career wasn’t that it was cut short by head injuries. It’s that some Flyers fans don’t think he deserves to have his number retired because he didn’t win a championship here. That’s dumb.

A small contingent of Philadelphia Flyers fans exists that think that Eric Lindros doesn’t deserve to have his number retired. This dubious opinion is usually justified by the fact that he didn’t win a Cup in his tenure here.

Let’s go over his list of accomplishments as a Flyer shall we?

  • 1994-95 Ted Lindsay Award
  • 1994-95 Hart Memorial Trophy
  • All-time leader in points per game
  • Tied 1st all-time in goals per game
  • 2nd all-time in assists per game
  • 3rd all-time in hat-tricks with 12

Lindros was an absolute stud when he was on the ice, a force of nature, standing 6’4 and weighing 220 pounds. He welcomed the physical aspect of the game, dealing out massive hits usually reserved for a defenseman.

But he also possessed some of the best hands in hockey. An attribute not usually reserved for a guy his size, but for more demure players of that era like Paul Kariya or Daniel Alfredsson. Did I mention he also was a great skater?

Eric Lindros changed the perception of what a prototypical power forward was supposed to be. He was a hockey unicorn who if he had just been able to stay healthy, would’ve gone down as one of the greatest players of all-time. That’s not a hyperbole, either.

What Could’ve Been

"View post on"

Above you’ll find a chart of revisionist history. By multiplying a full NHL season by Eric’s point per game totals, I was able to estimate his production if he was able to stay healthy. The image above can be hard to read so here is the 82-game estimated point totals.

  • 1992-93 101 points
  • 1993-94 122 points
  • 1994-95 125 points
  • 1995-96 130 points
  • 1996-97 125 points
  • 1997-98 93 points
  • 1998-99 107 points
  • 1999-00 88 points

Looking at those point totals makes me weep for what could’ve been. Of course, we all know what the reality was. Eric never played more than 73 games in a season as a Flyer. In fact, he only eclipsed the 70 games played mark twice in his eight seasons here. Still, he was able to produce a ton of goals and assists, placing him 5th all-time in points in Flyers franchise history.

A fact only made more incredible when you compare his games played to those players who rank above him.

1Bobby Clarke1511443588521210
2Bill Barber12903420463883
3Brian Propp11790369480849
4Rick MacLeish12741328369697
5Eric Lindros8486290369659

Next: Elliot will be a difference maker

So, in conclusion, if you don’t think Eric Lindros doesn’t deserve to have his jersey retired to the rafters alongside Bobby Clarke and Mark Howe, maybe you should talk to his Philadelphia Flyers linemate, John LeClair.

"Lastly, throughout my career here at the Flyers, I was always asked the same question over and over again – is Eric the reason for your success?  And my answer is, and always will be, yes, of course.  Big E raised my game to another level, and the fact of the matter is, he raised everybody he ever played with.  He made their game better too. The seven years we were able to play together was an unbelievable ride, and I’ve been fortunate enough to play with one of the best NHL players to ever lace them up. Thanks E. We loved winning together, and hated losing even more. via"