So I went to check TSN.CA's (http://tsn.ca/nhl/
)NHL page and they have one of their polls up there. This time is asks the simple question, "Is Eric Lindros a Hall of Famer?" As of this writing the results are a lopsided 71% no to 29%. I took some time to break down the numbers that Lindros posted in his career.
Games Played 760
Total Points 865
In the playoffs Lindros played in 53 games while putting up 57 points while playing in one Cup Final with Philly in 96-97.
All Star Teams 9
Voted Player of the Year 94-95 (Lester B. Pearson Award)
NHL MVP 94-95 (Hart Award)
Drafted in 91 by the Quebec Nordics Lindros was touted as the next great player. The next Great One. The player that the NHL was hoping to pass the mantle of greatness to. Is the judgment of Lindros more of a statement of failed expectations than that of a player who really did have a good career? I think it is. He has had a great NHL career but one that always seemed to have a cloud hanging over it.
That cloud started when he refused to play for the Nordiques and demanded a trade. Philly ponied up when they traded Ron Hextall, Peter Forsberg, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Chris Simon, 1st round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) in 1993, 1st round selection (later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, later traded to the Washington Capitals - Nolan Baumgartner) in 1994 and cash to the Quebec Nordiques for Eric Lindros (Wow...wouldn't you like to take a do over on that one Philly?). I feel like, from that point forward, only a player putting up true Gretzky type numbers would be able to live up to the expectations that the fans in Philly (and the NHL for that matter) must have had for him.
Couple that with his history of injuries and you have a career that could have been. Eric was an extremely gifted athlete who was never able to live up to the hype the preceded him and that he demanded. I found it sad to watch him the last few year but I did find myself rooting for him. I wanted him to have one more great year...just to give everyone something to remember him by. I don't think his numbers will get him in the HOF and that too is sad. As is it now Eric will be remembered for the player he had become, injured and unable to perform at high levels, instead of the greatness to which he aspired and we expected.