Eric Lindros and John LeCLAIR were part of the golden years of the Philadelphia Flyers from the mid nineties through 2000, when Lindros suffered one of his many concussions that finally ended his career as a Flyer. So let us set the stage for this story from the beginning. Lindros played Junior Hockey in the OHL for the Oshawa Generals prior to being chosen as the First Overall Pick in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques. At the time, the Nordiques were a very poor organization and Lindros refused to play for them. He was the highest touted player out of Juniors since Wayne Gretzky.
Around the same time, the Philadelphia Flyers had fallen on some hard times and needed to make a splash. Well...make a splash they did. On June 30th, 1992, the Nordiques traded Lindros to Philly for a package including Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Jocelyn Thibault, Nolan Bumgartner and $15,000,000 Dollars. From 1992-2001, Eric Lindros was the leader and Team Captain for the Philadelphia Flyers as one of the most fearsome power forwards. During his time as a Flyer, he averaged more than a point per game. Lindros won two Gold Medals for Canada at the World Junior Championships. He also won a Gold and Silver Medal in the Olympics for Canada.
Lindros scored over 40 Goals in each of his first two seasons and won the Hart Trophy as MVP of the lockout-shortened season in 1995 by scoring 29 Goals and 41 Assists in 46 Games, leading the Flyers to their first Playoff Appearance in Six Seasons. Eric Lindros did lead the Flyers to a Stanley Cup appearance in 1997; however, the Flyers were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in 4 Games. During his tenure as the Flyers leader, Lindros suffered multiple injuries and concussions. On April 1st, 1999 Lindros suffered what was diagnosed as a rib injury. Later in the evening, Teammate Keith Jones found Lindros laying in a tub limp and cold. Jones insisted that Lindros go to the hospital contrary to the Flyers medical doctors who wanted to send him home on a plane. If Lindros had not went to the hospital, the doctors said he would have died as he had suffered a collapsed lung.
On February 9th, 1995 the Montreal Canadiens traded John LeCLAIR, Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne to the Flyers for Mark Recchi and a third round pick. The rest was history! LeCLAIR would go on to become the first American born NHL Player to have three consecutive 50 Goal Seasons. After the three consecutive 50 Goal Seasons, LeCLAIR then enjoyed two successive seasons with 40 Goal Seasons. Along with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg, LeCLAIR made up the third member of "THE LEGION OF DOOM." During ten seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, LeCLAIR scored 333 Goals along with an additional 35 Playoff Goals. This made him one of the most prolific scorers in Flyers history.
In 486 Games with the Flyers, Lindros scored 290 Goals, 369 Assists and his 1.36 Goals Per Game average for the Flyers is #1 in Franchise History. In contrast, LeCLAIR scored 333 Goals and 310 Assists for 643 Points in 649 Games. He is the Seventh Leading All-Time scorer for the Franchise as well as fifth all-time in goals scored. During Lindros and LecLAIR's tenure, the Flyers made the Playoffs 6 Times making it to the Stanley Cup in 1997 and the Conference Finals in 2000, which would be Lindros' last season as a Flyer. During their time as line mates, Lindros and LeCLAIR formed one of the most dominant duos in NHL History. They were the pillars of the Flyers Franchise. The only thing that these two players failed to do was bring a Cup to Philly. No matter what, these players were two of the most influential stars in Team History. And this will be a much awaited and anticipated award for them both.
One could also argue that Eric Lindros and John LeCLAIR should both be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Just a comparison with Lindros and Peter Forsberg who has made the Hall of Fame. Lindros played 760 Games, had 372 Goals, 493 Assists, 865 Points, 57 Points in 53 Playoff Games, 1 Hart Trophy, 1 Pearson Trophy, 1 Art Ross Trophy, 2x All Star, and zero cups. In contrast, Forsberg played in 708 Games, had 249 Goals, 636 Assists, 885 Points, 171 Points in 151 Playoff Games, 1 Art Ross Trophy, 3x All Star and 2x Stanley Cups. The only true thing separating these players is the 2 Stanley Cups that Forsberg won. However, Hockey is a Team Sport and Forsberg played on some of the Best Colorado Avalanche Teams of all-time. Regardless of wether Lindros makes the Hall of Fame, he is still one of the greatest players to ever don a Jersey. In conclusion, I congratulate both John LeCLAIR and Eric Lindros on their award and achievements.