Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lindros' Hall of Fame Career Was without Compare: "He's One in a Lifetime"

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lindros' Hall of Fame Career Was without Compare: "He's One in a Lifetime"

Article excerpt

Lindros' career was without compare

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So much about the career of Eric Lindros reads like a Hollywood script, including where the incoming Hall of Famer lived when he entered the National Hockey League.

It was about a month into Lindros' rookie season with the Philadelphia Flyers that the controversial prodigy asked veteran teammate Kevin Dineen if he could move in with Dineen and his newlywed wife Annie.

"And I was like 'Ah, let me go home and talk to my wife about that,'" Dineen recalled almost 25 years later.

Lindros had already bought a townhouse with "everything you could ever want," but he was also a teenager in a harsh, unforgiving American city and Dineen figures he was probably a little bit lonely.

So in Lindros moved for a two-year period which saw the Dineen household flush with dogs and a growing, makeshift family. The unlikely unit would have breakfast and dinner together and sometimes Lindros and Dineen would sneak into classes at the University of Pennsylvania, where Annie was working toward her master's degree.

"It was funny in a lot of ways," Dineen said. "It was like having a little brother who was much bigger than you."

Finally entering the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside Rogie Vachon, Sergei Makarov and the late Pat Quinn, Lindros really did have a career that was without compare, both in how it evolved on and off the ice. He repeatedly balked at the rigged rules and systems in pro hockey, a true maverick in a sport where uniformity is cherished. He was also truly unique talent on the ice not seen before or since.

"He was probably the most dominant player during his time in the NHL," long-time teammate Rod Brind'Amour said.

At six foot four and more than 200 pounds, Lindros was like a freight train on skates, but one that had the agility and skills to move like a race car.

Brind'Amour still remembers hopelessly trying to defend him at his first practice with the Flyers in 1992. Lindros had one hand on his stick as he rushed down the wing, but still somehow whipped a wrist shot into the top corner.

"And I'm like, nobody can do that in the NHL," said Brind'Amour. "And of course, if he wanted to run you over he could run you through the boards. And then if you wanted to fight he could fight. There was just nothing that he couldn't really do. And that was impressive because there wasn't really anyone in the NHL that could do everything."

Brind'Amour's jaw remains agape when he recalls Lindros having his way with famed tough guy Marty McSorley. …

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