Unless you’re on Twitter, chances are you don’t know that Lindros took part in the morning skate with the Flyers today. He lives in/near Toronto, and the boys are in town to play the Maple Leafs tonight. It was broadcast online from a camera mounted on the screen. Judging by what I saw, we need to dump our bottom 6-9 forwards and just give him a ton of cash immediately. I’m not enough of a cap guru to know if we can even do that. But that’s for Paul Holmgren to worry about, not me.
All I can do is make educated guesses as to how successful he would be if he came back. To sum it up quickly: plan the parade down Broad Street. Here’s the checklist of reasons why:
- Vision: Great players don’t lose how well they see the ice. He stood out because of how he could see the game. He’ll fit right in.
- Size: He’s still huge. If he lost some muscle mass, it’s ok because the game is not as physical as it was when he was in his prime.
- Shape: When they interviewed him over a few weeks leading up to the legends game prior to the Winter Classic, he mentioned that he still plays pickup hockey. A former MVP probably doesn’t just shoot around with a bunch of schmo’s. Of course it’s not NHL competition, but would he waste his time with some garbage players?
- Jagr: If 68 is still playing at 40, why can’t Lindros play at 39? Of course neither guy is as fast as they were when they were younger. But neither one relied on great speed as a big part of their game anyway. Both relied on their size, hands, and vision to be great.
- Health: Lindros hasn’t played in the NHL for almost 5 years. His body has been resting instead of taking a beating. Concussions of course are still a risk, but there are far less heavy hitters in the league now.
- Matchup’s: So say you stick him on the 3rd line with whoever. You think he can’t produce against other scrub players? Especially if Giroux is drawing all the top defenders.
Of course he probably isn’t coming back. He’s just rebuilding his relationship with the team, so why not hang out at a practice. I’m still waiting for some interviews to come out from reporters that were actually there. But it was fun as hell watching him in practice. At one point he set up on top of the left circle and ripped some one-timers into the net. It sure reminded me of how we used to run our powerplay in the mid-90’s for him. He also played in a scrimmage near the end, where he easily got open and made a few plays. Of course, practice is practice and an NHL is very different. But man, wouldn’t it be a dream come true to see him play for the team he will be associated with for eternity one more time?
I know, I know. I can dream though, can’t I?
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