The Flyers are set to retire Eric Lindros’ No. 88 on Thursday night, the sixth player to have his number officially retired and raised to the rafters of Wells Fargo Center.
Eric Lindros had a career that spanned throughout the 1990s as a top prospect, a star player, a team captain and then a falling out with the Flyers that was highly documented until things were patched up in recent years with the Winter Classic Alumni Game, Flyers Hall of Fame induction and culminating in a Hall-of-Fame career.
As Lindros prepares to take his place among the Flyers greatest players in franchise history, here are some of his top moments as a Flyer, and a few others that define his career.
1st Goal on Home Ice - His first NHL goal came on the road in Pittsburgh in his NHL debut, but when Eric Lindros lit the lamp for the first time on home ice in his second NHL game, it was something special.
Lindros steals the puck in the neutral zone from Scott Niedermayer and speeds in on a breakaway. He’s able to stay ahead of Scott Stevens and puts a move on New Jersey goalie Chris Terreri for the highlight-reel goal and sends the fans at the Spectrum into a frenzy.
The goal made it 5-4 Flyers with 4:46 to go in the game and stood as the game-winning goal in a 6-4 Flyers win.
1st Hat Trick - Lindros could score, and later in his rookie season, he managed his first NHL hat trick.
Just 18 games into his NHL career, Lindros and the Flyers faced the Ottawa Senators for the first time. Lindros wasted no time getting on the board, scoring 41 seconds into the game.
In the second, he assisted on a goal for Brent Fedyk, then scored again on another Crazy Eights line goal.
On the power play in the third period, he capped the hat trick with the help of the other Crazy Eights again, picking up his 14th goal on the young season as the hats came raining down at the Spectrum.
1995 Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 OT Winner - The Flyers and Devils faced off quite a bit on big stages in the 90s and early 2000s. The two met in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1995 and the Flyers lost both games on home ice to open the season.
Lindros had vaulted from a top prospect and rookie sensation into a full-on superstar in 1995, with 20 goals and 41 assists for 70 points in a lockout-shortened 46 games, on his way to winning the Hart Trophy. In the playoffs, he tallied 15 more points, including four goals, none bigger than the one that came on June 7.
Less than five minutes into overtime, Lindros took a pass coming across the blue line and fired a shot past Martin Brodeur to get the Flyers back into the series with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3. The Flyers went on to lose the series in six games, but Lindros had delivered on a huge stage.
1997 Eastern Conference Finals Game 3 - The Flyers were locked in another divisional battle for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997, facing the New York Rangers. Lindros had another statement game with the series tied at one in Game 3.
Lindros opened the scoring for the Flyers in the first period as the Flyers took a 2-0 lead to the intermission and eventually into the third period as well. The Rangers struck twice to tie the game by the 4:02 mark.
It was Lindros again who broke the tie, scoring just 2:33 after the Rangers tied the game to give the Flyers the lead again.
While the Rangers eventually tied the game on a goal by Wayne Gretzky, the Flyers regained the lead and pulled ahead by two when Lindros finished off the hat trick with an empty-net goal, willing his way past Rangers captain Mark Messier to score into the empty net. It was viewed as a passing of the guard of sorts, as Lindros was announcing his presence as a face of the league.
1997 Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 - With the Flyers now holding a 2-1 series lead, Game 4 brought the two teams back to Madison Square Garden.
This game was much more of a fight than Game 3. Scoring was limited early, as Mikael Renberg scored the only goal of the game through two periods.
The Rangers got a shorthanded goal to tie the game early in the third and the two teams entered the final four minutes of the game in a 1-1 tie.
John Druce scored a shorthanded goal to give the Flyers the lead with 3:13 left in the third, but the Rangers scored 1:05 later with a goal by Brian Leetch to even the score at two with 2:08 to play.
Enter Eric Lindros, who with seven seconds remaining managed to beat Mike Richter for the game-winning goal to give the Flyers a 3-1 series lead.
Lindros and the Flyers claimed the series in Game 5 to move on to the Stanley Cup Final.
Final Game as a Flyer - It’s one of the defining moments of Lindros’ career and marks the end of it as well.
Everybody remembers how close the Flyers were to being in the Stanley Cup Final in 2000. They had a 3-1 series lead, but found themselves in Game 7 with the New Jersey Devils. That’s when Scott Stevens laid a devastating hit on Lindros as he cut across the blue line with his head down. The concussion Lindros suffered proved to be the final blow on the Flyers season and eventually his career.
But that helpless look that Lindros had is what everyone remembers from that series. The Devils went on to win the Stanley Cup. It would be 10 years before the Flyers were back in a Cup Final.
Trades - Lindros got bounced around a lot in the latter part of his career. From Philadelphia, he was dealt to the New York Rangers.
Lindros spent three seasons with the Rangers before moving on to the Toronto Maple Leafs for 33 games in the 2005-06 season. He closed out his career with the Dallas Stars, playing 49 games in the 2006-07 season.
Following his time with the Flyers, Lindros had just 82 goals and 206 points in five seasons.
Alumni Game 2012 - Lindros’ falling out with the Flyers following the 2000 season was well-documented, but things were patched up for good when Lindros returned to Philadelphia to take part in the 2012 Winter Classic Alumni Game.
No. 88 easily received one of the loudest ovations of the day and getting a warm welcome back to Philadelphia was seemingly a way to put everything that was in the past behind and move forward.
In addition, Lindros took the ice with John LeClair, his former linemate, and set up LeClair for the first goal of the game. The Lindros-LeClair duo lighting the lamp was certainly a memorable sight and sent Citizens Bank Park into a roar.
Flyers Hall of Fame Induction 2014 - Lindros and LeClair were reunited and bonded forever by entering the Flyers Hall of Fame on the same night in Nov. 2014.
It was a night that took everyone back to the glory days of the 90s. The Legion of Doom reunited, as Mikael Renberg was a special guest for the ceremony. LeClair and Lindros traded speeches, each appreciative of the other for aiding in their career success, and acknowledging the role of Ed Snider, Bobby Clarke and Flyers fans in their time in Philadelphia.
As much as Lindros was the centerpiece of the Legion of Doom and individually takes his place in the rafters among the few to have their number retired, seeing the names of LeClair and Lindros together in the Flyers Hall of Fame is fitting. They were the two integral pieces to the Flyers success in the 90s, and together, they took their place as franchise legends.
Hall of Fame Induction 2016 - Lindros’ playing career culminated in his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.
Lindros didn’t have the highest totals of any player to be enshrined in the Hall, but his dominance for the better part of the 90s -- 290 goals and 659 points in 486 games, all with the Flyers -- made him a standout and a face of the league. He finished his career with 372 goals and 865 points in just 760 games played. Had it not been for the numerous injuries that plagued his career, he would have easily broken the 1,000 point mark.
There were some who were on the fence about Lindros’ induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame, but it is that moment that brings us to the next one for No. 88. The Flyers have not retired the number of any player who isn’t inducted into the Hall of Fame -- with the exception of Barry Ashbee’s No. 4 and the unofficial “retirement” of Pelle Lindbergh’s No. 31. So as the newest member of the Hockey Hall of Fame to enter with the Flyers as his primary team, Lindros takes his place in the rafters among the team’s all-time greats.