Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins probably deserved to win the Stanley Cup together. They teamed up to make the Philadelphia Flyers of the mid-to-late 1990s some of the best teams in hockey, and this coming 2014-15 season their names will be lifted to the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center.
Lindros and LeClair will be inducted together on Thursday, November 20 before the Flyers host the Minnesota Wild. Desjardins will be inducted on Thursday, February 19 before the Flyers host the Buffalo Sabres. It's a deserving honor for all three players -- Desjardins, of the best defensemen to ever wear orange and black; LeClair, the best American-born player to ever wear the colors; and Lindros, the most dominant hockey player of his era.
Long overdue for Eric Lindros
Lindros, as we've been over many times before, is a Hockey Hall of Fame-caliber player, and his induction into the Flyers Hall of Fame should have happened years ago. He was one of the most dominant players to ever play the game, and unfortunately off ice drama and concussion problems spoiled what could have been an even more incredible career.
Hopefully this honor for Lindros is just the first of many over the next few years. He deserves to be in the Hockey Hall, and he deserves to have his number 88 in the rafters someday too.
LeClair's unparalleled dominance
John LeClair is one of the best American-born players to ever play the game. He absolutely dominated the league in the mid-1990s, putting up three consecutive 50 goals seasons. As the Flyers press release points out, from 1995 when he was acquired from Montreal until the 1998-99 season, LeClair may have put up the best four-year period of any player in team history: 371 points in 322 games. Just nuts.
LeClair was a physical player who wore opponents down, a perfect compliment to Lindros' bruising style. These guys were nearly impossible to play against, let alone win a puck battle against.
There was also this goal at the 1996 World Cup against Canada, which just so happened to be played in Philadelphia, right there in his office in front of the net.
LeClair made a career out of that. It was a career worthy of the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Desjardins one of the best Flyers defensemen ever
Those Lindros and LeClair-led teams of the late 90s wouldn't have made any noise without Eric Desjardins on the blueline behind them. He was the Flyers number one defenseman throughout those years, and he finished his Flyers career as one of the best defenseman in team history.
He won the Barry Ashbee Trophy an insane total of seven times in his career, and he scored more points as a Flyer than any other defenseman besides Mark Howe. That's good company. Desjardins succeeded Lindros as Flyers captain in 2000.
Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins are the first Flyers players to be inducted into the franchise Hall of Fame since Dave "The Hammer" Schultz was honored in 2009.