Flyers honoring Lindros, LeClair, Desjardins

Posted: August 01, 2014

THERE WAS a time when the only way Eric Lindros was going to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame was if he bought the team.

His relationship with Flyers general manager Bob Clarke had deteriorated to the point where Lindros was stripped of his captaincy. It got so ugly that Lindros' father, Carl, accused the Flyers of negligence and putting Eric's life in danger by refusing to treat a collapsed lung.

But time heals all wounds, even those deep enough to drive a Zamboni through. Clarke and Lindros patched things up to the point where Clarke is now advocating Lindros' induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

While that is an honor that needs more momentum, the Flyers yesterday announced they are inducting Lindros into the team's Hall of Fame.

Appropriately, Lindros will go in with longtime linemate John LeClair on Nov. 20. Defenseman Eric Desjardins, who succeeded Lindros as team captain in 2000, will be inducted on Feb. 19.

"What made this news even more special is to hear that I will be entering alongside John, who I had the good fortune of playing with for most of my time in Philly," Lindros said in a release. "I look forward to seeing old friends and to be back in the Wells Fargo Center alongside the Flyer faithful."

Lindros was acquired from the Quebec Nordiques for five players (including Peter Forsberg), two first-round draft picks and $15 million in 1992. Two years later, he became the youngest Flyers captain at 21. The burly center went on to become fifth on the Flyers' all-time scoring list, totaling 290 goals, 369 assists for 659 points. He was a six-time NHL All-Star, and made appearances in three Olympics for Team Canada.

Lindros openly sobbed after winning the NHL MVP award in 1995. The young Flyers made a run to the conference finals and their young captain promised a championship that never materialized.

LeClair and Desjardins were acquired in the same franchise-changing deal from the Montreal Canadiens in February 1995. LeClair played 10 years for the Flyers, totaling 333 goals and 310 assists in 649 games. He is seventh on the Flyers' all-time scoring list.

"I'm very excited and very honored," LeClair said. "The time I spent in Philadelphia was just terrific, and the experiences I had playing in the city and with the fans were some of the most exciting moments."

Desjardins is the second-highest-scoring defenseman in team history with 93 goals and 303 assists in 738 career games, trailing only Mark Howe.

"This means a lot to me," Desjardins said. "After spending so many years with the Flyers and being retired for almost nine years now, it's a great feeling. It is something you don't think about when you are playing but once you're retired and an honor like this happens, it is very special."

Mason hurt

Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced that goalie Steve Mason broke his right pinky finger Sunday playing hockey in Oakville, Ontario. Mason will miss about 2 weeks of on-ice training but will continue off-ice work.

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