The Eric Lindros era was entertaining and disappointing. It was giddy and nasty, fun yet ultimately unfulfilling.
He came to Philadelphia after a ridiculous series of events that required an arbitrator, a series of hearings and hundreds of pages of testimony to untangle. Friday is the 25th anniversary of the day Lindros officially became a Flyer. So let's take a look at 88 things to know about Big E.
1. Lindros vowed to never play for the Quebec Nordiques, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 1991. He forced the Nordiques to make a trade, and they complied. In typical Nordique fashion, however, they traded Lindros to two teams.
2. When Quebec owner Marcel Aubut handed Lindros a Nordiques jersey at the draft, he simply draped it over his forearm, reinforcing that pledge to never wear their sweater.
3. At the time, Lindros said Quebec was a small-market franchise with a losing culture. He has since said, "It was not about the city, it was about the owner."
4. Arbitrator Larry Bertuzzi needed nine days to sort everything out before ruling in the Flyers favor. It was the sports equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis as the hockey world held its breath to see whether Lindros would be a Flyer or New York Ranger. The testimony alone took five days.
5. "It's mind-boggling what has happened in the past week," said Flyers president Jay Snider, who orchestrated the deal to get Lindros.
6. The Flyers gave up Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, two first-round picks and $15 million for Lindros. Oh, and the rights to Peter Forsberg, too.
7. Bertuzzi and Carl Lindros, Eric's father, played football together in 1967 for the University of Western Ontario. There was no conflict of interest, Bertuzzi insisted, because Bertuzzi was "second string," and Carl Lindros was "an all-star end."
8. Eric Lindros was a seven-time All-Star.
9. He was voted the Eastern Conference's starting All-Star center in 1994 despite not being among the top 25 scoring leaders.
10. Lindros was born on Feb. 28, 1973. On that date, the Flyers lost at Detroit, 6-5. The teams racked up 92 penalty minutes in the third period with Bobby Clarke, Rick MacLeish and Dave Schultz earning fighting majors.
11. Lindros was passed over six times before eventually landing in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016. His classmates were goaltender Rogie Vachon, forward Sergei Makarov, and Pat Quinn, who coached the Flyers from 1979-82.
12. From former Daily News sports writer Bill Fleischman: "I was a sidebar guy at a Flyers-Devils playoff game in North Jersey. After the game I needed to speak with John LeClair, but by the time I made it into the Flyers' locker room he had left. As I headed toward the Flyers bus parked inside the arena I wound up walking next to Eric. He asked 'What do you need?' I replied that I needed to speak with John. Eric boarded the bus and a few seconds later there was John."
13. Eric is three years older than his brother, Brett, who played two seasons in the NHL (Islanders, 1994-96) before retiring because of concussions.
14. He donated $5 million to Ontario's London Health Sciences Center on the day he retired in 2007. Three years later, the Lindros Legacy Research Pavilion opened.
15. Name the five coaches Lindros played for in his eight seasons with the Flyers. Answer later.
16. Lindros is Team Canada's all-time leading scorer in World Junior Championship play with 31 points in 21 games. Jordan Eberle and Brayden Schenn (26 points) are tied for second.
17. Lindros won two world junior championships (1990, 1991), an Olympic gold (2002) and silver (1992) and won the 1991 Canada Cup, a tournament that eventually became the World Championships.
18. Lindros was 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, an excellent skater, nearly impossible to push off the puck and a pretty nasty fighter.
19. "No Flyer before or since has combined such great skills with the imposing physicality that No. 88 displayed. Quite simply, he revolutionized the game. He could play like a runaway freight train as he crashed into a player in the corner. He could play like a magician, deking past a player and displaying an artful finesse that 6-foot-4, 240-pound players are not supposed to have in their repertoire." — Flyers beat writer Sam Carchidi
20. Lindros was 28 years old when the Flyers traded him.
21. He scored eight goals in 13 games against the Flyers.
22. Went into the Flyers Hall of Fame alongside LeClair in 2014, Though Lindros' No. 88 has not been retired, he remains the only player in franchise history to wear that very unique number.
23. His No. 88 is one of only a handful of numbers retired by the Oshawa Generals, his junior league team. Bobby Orr's No. 2 also hangs in their rafters.
24. He did not win a Stanley Cup.
25. Lindros' only appearance in the Cup Finals was in 1997. The Flyers went 12-3 in the first three rounds – with Lindros scoring 23 points. The Flyers were swept by Detroit in the Finals, and Lindros was held to a goal and two assists.
26. His only goal of the Finals came with 15 seconds left in Game 4, which the Red Wings won, 2-1.
27. When the Flyers lost the first three games of that series, coach Terry Murray said his players were "choking." It was harsh – and accurate.
28. "I'm not even sure our best team made it to the Stanley Cup finals," Lindros said earlier this year. "I think some of those other years we had better teams. My third year there, we played New Jersey [in the 1995 conference finals]. That was a better team."
29. The Flyers had swept the Rangers in the 1995 conference semifinals. New York had won the Stanley Cup the previous season.
30. He scored a career-high 115 points in 1995-96, fourth-most in Flyers history.
31. He had an 18-game point streak from Jan. 7-Feb. 18, 1999, to tie Bobby Clarke's team record.
32. Lindros (760) played more regular-season games than Forsberg (708). The postseason, however, is a different story (Forsberg, 151-53).
33. The Rangers lost out on Lindros but won the Stanley Cup three years later. The package they offered Quebec included Alexei Kovalev, Tony Amonte, Doug Weight, three first-round picks and conditionally John Vanbiesbrouck.
34. If Vanbiesbrouck became a free agent, the Rangers were going to throw in defenseman James Patrick instead. Patrick is the uncle of 2017 Flyers first-round pick Nolan Patrick.
35. Hextall, who took the Flyers to the Cup Finals just four years earlier, was too stunned to talk to reporters immediately after he was traded for Lindros. His agent, Steve Mountain, said Hexy needed a few days to gather himself. He played one season in Quebec (1992-93).
36. "Either the Flyers have hocked their family jewels for some swampland in Canada. … Or, they have stolen Manhattan from the Indians for baubles and bangles and bright shiny beads. Either Eric Lindros will turn out to be the Messiah on ice … or he will turn out to be just another teenager overwhelmed by someone else's grievously miscalculated expectations. Either the Flyers have finagled one of the shrewdest, most far-sighted deals in sporting history … or they have been fleeced, snookered, plucked, pressed and otherwise deflowered." — Inquirer columnist Bill Lyon, July 1, 1992
37. Lindros had 46 game-winning goals in his career – 23 at home, 23 on the road.
38. The Nordiques left Quebec after the 1994-95 season and won the Stanley Cup their first season in Colorado. Forsberg had 21 points in 22 postseason games. He helped the Avalanche win another Cup five years later.
39. Pierre Page was Quebec's general manager in 1991 and has said the blockbuster Lindros trade was similar to the one the Dallas Cowboys made with the Minnesota Vikings in 1989 involving Herschel Walker. "The Cowboys won two Super Bowls with Jimmy Johnson and one with Barry Switzer [as coaches]," Page said in a piece in the Toronto Globe and Mail. "So that trade really brought them three Super Bowls. This trade – Lindros – brought two Stanley Cups to Quebec, which became Colorado.
40. Lindros scored the final goal of his career on Nov. 20, 2006. He was playing for Dallas. He scored it against Colorado.
41. According to CapFriendly.com, Lindros made $49,467,000 in salary during his career. Page said that the Nordiques offered Lindros a 10-year $50 million contract when they drafted him.
42. The line of Lindros, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg was dubbed the "Legion of Doom" by teammate Jim Montgomery shortly after LeClair was pilfered from the Canadiens in 1995.
43. Lindros set a Flyers record with six assists in a win at Ottawa on Feb. 26, 1997. His line combined to score a ridiculous 16 points. Again.
44. Three weeks earlier, they combined for 16 in a win over Montreal. Lindros was not yet 24 when all this was happening.
45. The actual "Legion of Doom" was the nemesis in the 1978 cartoon series "Challenge of the Superfriends." Featuring characters such as Giganta, Captain Cold and Lex Luthor, they were a nasty bunch.
46. Lindros' original linemates were Mark Recchi (No. 8) and Brent Fedyk (No. 18). They were dubbed the "Crazy Eights" line, which isn't nearly as cool as "Legion of Doom."
47. Scott Stevens' hit on Lindros in Game 7 of the 2000 Eastern Conference finals was not a penalty. It almost surely would be one today. Lindros was handling the puck with his head down and was trying to avoid Scott Niedermayer when he was flattened by Stevens. Niedermayer was third pick in 1991. Pat Falloon went No. 2.
48. Lindros returned from a concussion for Game 6 of that series against the Devils. He was the Flyers' best player that night, scoring one goal and just missing out by a fraction of a second on another at the end of the second period in a 2-1 loss. The Flyers had blown a 3-1 series lead.
49. Lindros' Flyers career ended with, ironically, a 2001 trade to the Rangers.
50. The relationship was so poisonous between Lindros and Flyers management that immediately following the trade owner Ed Snider said of the Lindros era, "I wish it never happened."
51. The sands of time eventually washed away the acrimony with Clarke leading the charge for Lindros' induction in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
52. Clarke said his inability to get along with Lindros' parents was the biggest problem. "Maybe if I accepted (their presence) better, it would have been better," Clarke said last year.
53. There was a baseball card issued by Score in 1990 of Lindros taking batting practice with the Blue Jays. He's hitting righthanded and is listed as a third baseman. An autographed card is going for about $40 on Amazon. Non-autographed is only a couple dollars.
54. He was first-team all-NHL in 1994-95 along with LeClair, Jaromir Jagr, Paul Coffey, Chris Chelios and Dominik Hasek. LeClair and Jagr are the only ones on that list not in the Hall of Fame, and Jagr will be there some day.
55. Jagr, who played all 82 games for Florida last year and scored 46 points, is a year older than Eric Lindros. That guy is amazing.
56. Lindros is one of nine players in Flyers history with 600 career points (659), but the only one of those nine who played in fewer than 500 games (486)
57. Lindros had at least eight concussions.
58. "Hockey is the best sport in the world," he told Canada's SportsNet, "but it's not without consequences. Concussions will occur."
59. He would one day like to see a blood test developed to monitor the severity of concussions.
60. Lindros scored a goal in his first game with the Flyers, a 3-3 tie against two-time defending Cup champs Pittsburgh.
61. Mario Lemieux, who scored that night for the Penguins, said afterward: "There's certainly a lot of pressure on Eric right now to produce right now even though he's only 19. It was the same with me in Pittsburgh. The only thing he can do is his best. The only thing he can do is work hard every day and be patient. That's the key, to be patient. It's pretty tough the first couple of years. You want to do it right away. You want to win championships right away. But it takes time. You have to learn that."
62. He scored a respectable 75 points in his first season but did not win rookie of the year. That honor went to Teemu Selanne, who scored 76 GOALS and 132 points.
63. Lindros' 41 goals in 1992-93 remain the Flyers rookie record. Hear that, Nolan Patrick?
64. His web site is EricLindros.ca
65. The five coaches Lindros played for while he was with the Flyers are Bill Dineen (1992-93), Terry Simpson (1993-94), Terry Murray (1994-97), Wayne Cashman (1997-98) and Roger Neilson (1998-00).
66. Lindros was 21 when Murray made him the youngest team captain in Flyers history on the second day of training camp prior to the 1994-95 season. He replaced Kevin Dineen.
67. He was stripped of his captaincy in 2000 after criticizing the care he was receiving by the Flyers medical staff. Lindros was on injured reserve recovering from concussion at the time.
68. Name the eight Flyers captains since Lindros.
69. Lindros sustained a collapsed lung in a game at Nashville on April 1, 1999 and was rushed to the hospital after roommate Keith Jones found him in a bathtub looking pale. The Flyers originally insisted Lindros fly home, a move that Carl Lindros said would have been fatal.
70. Lindros finished in the top 10 of MVP voting five times, winning it in 1995. He emotionally pledged to win a Stanley Cup as he accepted the award.
71. Lindros scored 659 points in 486 regular-season games with the Flyers. The 1.36 points per game would rank fifth all-time behind fellas such as Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy and Orr.
72. Lindros full career ppg is 1.14, which is 17thall-time. He's a shade behind Steve Yzerman and a little ahead of Alexander Ovechkin.
73. In the final regular-season game of his career, Lindros picked up a fighting major when he scrapped with St. Louis's Barrett Jackman. Lindros injured his groin during the fight and missed the final month of the 2006-07 season.
74. Lindros was dubbed "The Next One" as a teenager, a nod to Wayne Gretzky's "The Great One."
75. Lindros was married in 2012. He and his wife, Kina, have three children.
76. The eight Flyers captains since Lindros are Eric Desjardins, Keith Primeau, Derian Hatcher, Peter Forsberg, Jason Smith, Mike Richards, Chris Pronger and Claude Giroux.
77. He worked as an ombudsman for the NHLPA for about 15 months from 2007-09.
78. On Oct. 13, 1992, Lindros played his first game in Quebec. The Flyers lost, 6-3, in a game that was stopped several times as fans littered the ice with batteries, bullets, golf balls, coins and pacifiers and other debris. Yeah, bullets. Seems worse than snowballs at Santa Claus, doesn't it?
79. Lindros' 1991 autobiography, Fire On Ice, is available on Amazon for four bucks.
80. He had 11 hat tricks in his Flyers career, tied for third with LeClair. Only Tim Kerr (17) and Rick MacLeish (14) had more.
81. One more from Fleischman: "In Eric's second season with the Flyers, I wrote a column suggesting that Eric thought the Flyers would be a better team by then. When I walked into the Flyers locker room in Voorhees after practice Eric handed me the Daily News containing the column, smiled and said, 'Pretty good.' "
82. Lindros was the fourth-fastest player to score 300 career points (210 games). Only Wayne Gretzky (159 games) Mario Lemieux (186) and Peter Stastny (186) did it faster.
83. For perspective, it took Sidney Crosby 219 games to reach 300 career points.
84. Only five players reached 600 points quicker than Lindros (Gretzky, Lemieux, Stastny, Mike Bossy and Jari Kurri.
85. His Twitter handle is @88EricLindros.
86. Lindros testified before the Ontario legislature in 2016 on behalf of a law to establish better concussion protocols named for Rowan Stringer, a high school rugby player who died in 2013 after sustaining three concussions in less than a week.
87. Lindros was 34 when he retired.