Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Flyers wanted Eric Lindros to return in 2012

TORONTO _ After being presented with his Hockey Hall of Fame ring Friday, Eric Lindros revealed that a short time after he played in the alumni game at Citizens Bank Park on Dec. 31, 2011, then-general manager Paul Holmgren asked him if he was interested in returning to play for the Flyers.

At the time, Lindros was 38, and his career ended in 2007 because of multiple concussions suffered during his career with the Flyers, Toronto, New York Rangers and Dallas.

"Are you nuts?" Lindros recalled telling Holmgren.

Lindros, 43, spoke to reporters after he, Rogie Vachon,  Sergei Makarov, and Kalli Quinn (representing her late dad, Pat, who once coached the Flyers) accepted their rings at the Hall of Fame in Toronto. The induction ceremony is Monday.

Lindros said he was "amazed" when Holmgren asked him if he was interested in making a comeback. He said Holmgren was taking about how they had the cap space to make it work.

"I think he was pretty serious," he said.

Lindros said Holmgren had been impressed by his performance in the alumni game at Citizen Bank Park.

"I think he had the worst seat in the house," Lindros cracked. "I don't know what game he was watching."

Lindros was asked if he ever considered the offer to return.

"Oh, God! Oh!!!!!!!"

That was a definitive "no."

Lindros finished his career with 865 points, including 372 goals, in 760 games.

"There's nobody in the game, in my mind, that's been the type of player Eric was," general manager Ron Hextall, one of Lindros' former teammates, said before the Flyers face Toronto on Friday night.  "You've got a guy that's absolutely enormous, strong, skates well. The prototypical power forward, along with a skill level that no one that size had ever had. He was a dominant player for six, seven eight years there."

Added Hextall:  "I think if you asked other teams' defenses who they wouldn't want to play against, Eric Lindros would probably be the one guy."

Bob Clarke, who had a tumultuous relationship with Lindros and his parents back in the day, will attend Monday's induction. Clarke, now the Flyers' senior vice president, and Lindros patched up their relationship in recent years. Clarke was one of the men who pushed for Lindros to get into the Hall.

Hextall said he wishes things would have been "smoother for Eric and the organization.  But that's the way it was. I don't want to speak to anything negative. I don't have anything negative to say about Eric."

Breakaways. Andrew MacDonald, sidelined with a lower-body injury, is expected to resume skating Monday with the team, said Hextall, adding that the defenseman will not be sent to the Phantoms when he is healthy enough to play.....Nick Cousins will return to the lineup Friday after being a healthy scratch for two games.