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Hall of Famers Quinn, Lindros left imprint on Flyers

TORONTO - In different ways, Pat Quinn and Eric Lindros left indelible imprints on the Flyers during their memorable years with the franchise.

TORONTO - In different ways, Pat Quinn and Eric Lindros left indelible imprints on the Flyers during their memorable years with the franchise.

Quinn, who died in 2014 at age 71, was a gregarious man whose presence filled a room. Known as the Big Irishman, the highlight of his four-year coaching tenure with the Flyers was a 35-game unbeaten streak in 1979-80 - a record in all major sports - and if not for a blown offside call in Game 6 of the Finals that season, he may have directed the team to the Stanley Cup.

Lindros, quite simply, revolutionized the game with a combination of ruggedness and finesse - not seen in a player who stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 240 pounds. The ultimate power forward, the strapping center dominated the NHL in the 1990s.

Both were among the four men inducted into Hockey's Hall of Fame on Monday night. Quinn's daughter, Kalli, accepted the honor on behalf of her late father.

"He knew he was a mentor to people . . . but he just did it naturally, and it just so happened that it was a way people looked up to and respected," said Kalli Quinn, whose father's 684 career wins place him seventh in NHL history. "He did it honestly and right from the heart."

In addition, Rogie Vachon, the little goalie who won three Stanley Cups with Montreal before a distinguished seven-year stint with Los Angeles, and Sergei Makarov were inducted. Makarov led the Russian league in scoring nine times in 13 seasons, and was part of the first wave of Russian players to play in the NHL. At 31, he was named the league's rookie of the year while playing with Calgary in 1989-90. The speedy right winger had 384 points in a 424-game NHL career.

In his tearful acceptance speech, Vachon told the audience it's "not fair" that Nicole, his wife of 45 years, died in February and wasn't by his side. "I'll see you on the other side," he told her.

Quinn coached four NHL teams, and he guided Team Canada to the gold medal in the 2002 Olympics.

Bob Clarke played for Quinn on the 1979-80 Flyers team that put together the 35-game unbeaten streak. It was Quinn, not the players, who was most responsible for the streak, said Clarke, who presented the award to Quinn's daughter Monday.

"We had four defensemen up from Maine (the minor-league team) the year before," said Clarke, adding Quinn stressed puck possession, a staple of today's game. "It was all because of Pat. He got the best out of every player he had and a lot of us played above our heads that year because of him."

"It was Fred Shero and Bob Clarke who convinced him to go to the Flyers" as an assistant in 1977, said Kalli Quinn during her emotional acceptance speech. She said her father "didn't think of hockey as a job but as a lifestyle."

During his acceptance speech, Lindros thanked John LeClair and Mikael Renberg, his Legion of Doom linemates who attended the ceremony, "for their intensity and joy. I was lucky to be your centerman."

At the end of his speech, Lindros called his brother, Brett, onto the stage. Brett's NHL career ended because of concussions. "I would like to close this chapter of my life with you by my side," he said.

Lindros and then-general manager Clarke were in a well-publicized feud that escalated late in the center's final years with the Flyers. At the center of the feud: Clarke's belief that Lindros' parents interfered in their son's matters.

Clarke and Lindros made amends at the Winter Classic alumni game in 2011 and have been cordial ever since. Clarke spoke glowingly about Lindros on Monday.

Playing in alumni game, Lindros said, "was fantastic. Philly fans are terrific. They really are. There's not many cities in the States where you get that feeling. You get it here in Toronto, obviously, and in every Canadian city. I think Philly is top-notch in terms of the U.S. side of things."

Lindros lives in Toronto, about 10 minutes from the Hall of Fame, which had mammoth photos of the four inductees hanging outside its museum.

"I drive by here all the time," Lindros said. "Having my kid in the car and looking up and seeing your picture up there, it's a pretty special feeling."