Philadelphia Flyers legends such as Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi are eligible for Hall of Fame election tomorrow, which is certainly overdue
On Monday afternoon, eligible candidates will find out if they have been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in the 2016 class. Among those candidates are Philadelphia Flyers greats Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi, and it is past time they receive the honor.
Beginning with Lindros, he has been passed over for the honor for 6 seasons. Much of this is likely due to the baggage Lindros carries. Lindros was always a controversial figure, starting with his decision to hold out from playing for the Quebec Nordiques.
Even when Lindros found a welcome landing spot in Philadelphia after a contested trade (whether the New York Rangers or Philadelphia Flyers reached a deal with Quebec first), Lindros found controversy again. He feuded with Flyers general manager and legend Bobby Clarke, leading to embarrassing situations for both men.
Aside from the off-ice drama, Lindros was derailed on the ice by injures. Initially slowed by leg injuries, it was concussions that really ruined his career. In 8 seasons with the Flyers, he never played more than 73 games. One can only wonder what he would’ve have accomplished had we had a better understanding of concussions and rules against head shots in the 90s.
But enough with all the negative. The case for Lindros on the ice is refreshingly simple. Rarely has the NHL seen a player as dominant as Lindros was during his time with the Philadelphia Flyers. During his stint with the Flyers from 1992-2000, consider the best offensive players for that time period:
- Mario Lemieux, 2.11 points per game
- Jaromir Jagr, 1.45 points per game
- Eric Lindros, 1.36 points per game
- Teemu Selanne, 1.29 points per game
- Pat LaFontaine, 1.27 points per game
- Peter Forsberg, 1.25 points per game
- Joe Sakic, 1.25 points per game
Of those players, only Lindros, Selanne, and Jagr are not in the Hall of Fame. Selanne and Jagr are not yet eligible, but are almost surely first ballot choices when that occurs. Excluding Lindros from the company he earned is indefensible. Furthermore, this doesn’t even speak to the pure physical dominance of Lindros on the ice, nor the burden of carrying a team as Lindros shouldered.
Lindros finished with 865 points in 760 NHL games, and 659 points in 486 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. That was enough to put him as the #4 goal scorer in Flyers history by our count.
End the nonsense. Eric Lindros deserves to the be in Hockey Hall of Fame.
Recchi, my personal favorite player growing up, has been eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame since 2014. Recchi never reached the dizzying heights of Eric Lindros as dominant figure of the league, but his career accomplishments are truly outstanding.
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Recchi concluded his career with 1,533 points, 3 Stanley Cups, and 7 all star appearances. He is 12th all time in NHL history in total points, and every other player in the top-25 is already in the hall of fame (again excluding the inevitable selections of Selanne and Jagr when eligible).
Philadelphia Flyers fans also should have fond memories of Recchi. Recchi still holds the franchise record for points in a season with 123 in 1992-93 during his first stint with the team, and Recchi returned to the Flyers at the age of 30 to lead the team again with 91 points 1999-2000. Altogether, Recchi scored 627 points as a Flyer alone.
In a relatively weak Hockey Hall of Fame class this season, Recchi deserves the join the ranks of his peers, all of whom are already in the Hall. Watch out for the official Hockey Hall of Fame inductee elections this afternoon at 3:30 PM eastern time.