Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HOCKEY ; Lindros Headlines Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

HOCKEY ; Lindros Headlines Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees

Article excerpt

Eric Lindros knew exactly what day and time the Hockey Hall of Fame would call. He was just hoping his phone would ring this time after six years of silence. Rogie Vachon had given up hoping after 30-plus years of eligibility. And when his moment came, Sergei Makarov exclaimed, "Oh my gosh, the wait is over!

The waiting ended for Lindros, Vachon and Makarov on Monday as they were elected as part of the class of 2016 along with the late coach and executive Pat Quinn. With no first-time eligible players worthy of consideration, they were able to go from the longtime waiting room into the hall.

Because concussions and other injuries cut his career short, Lindros was passed over for the honor six previous times. But his Hart Trophy-winning season as NHL MVP with the Flyers in 1995, his 865 points in 760 games, and his overall dominance and international success ended up being too much to keep him out.

Lindros said he hasn't stopped smiling since getting the call from Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald while driving down the highway in Ontario.

"It was six years and it was a bit of time, but I guess you could turn around and say I'm in the Hall forever going forward, Lindros said. "I think there's sometimes you get thinking back and wondering, What if?' I think when it's all said and done, it's an honor. It feels full circle.

Lindros was a junior hockey star and the No. 1 pick of the Quebec Nordiques in 1991 but refused to sign, something he said Monday he didn't regret. Sent to Philadelphia as part of one of the biggest trades in NHL history, Lindros became one of the best players of his era with an unusual blend of physicality and production. He led the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final as part of the "Legion of Doom line with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg.

Friction with teammates and management dotted Lindros' career, and he never won the Stanley Cup.

"It's one thing you look back on, Lindros said. "There's a void there. …

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