Eric Lindros is a Hockey Hall of Famer.
Lindros, who dominated for a stretch of years with the Philadelphia Flyers before concussions cut his years short, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday along with Sergei Makarov, the long-time Russian scoring champ; Rogie Vachon, long-time NHL goaltender; and coaching great Pat Quinn as a builder.
Lindros is 19th in NHL history in points per game average with 1.138. He won the Hart and the Pearson in 1995. He has just 760 NHL career games, however, in a concussion-plagued career. But after Cam Neely and Pavel Bure made the Hockey Hall of Fame, the lack of games-played became less controversial. And as Bure showed, the operative word in the title of the place is FAME.
Lindros had it. He changed the game in the 1990s. He belongs here.
Makarov is a refreshing reminder about the name of the place, too: It’s the HOCKEY Hall of Fame, and not the NHL Hall of Fame. While Makarov scored 134 goals and 250 assists for 384 points in 424 regular season NHL games - and won rookie of the year at 31 years old, forcing an eventual rules change. But it was his play for the Russian National Team that defined him, teaming with Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov to form the KLM Line. In 519 games in the Soviet Championship League he recorded 322 goals, 388 assists for 710 points. He won eight gold medals at worlds and two Olympic gold medals as well.
Vachon was a shocker. We had him at 20-to-1 in the morning odds, and it seemed like there was always a low buzz about this candidacy but nothing that amounted to a campaign. Through his 16-season NHL career, Vachon had solid stats. In 795 regular season games, he won 355, lost 291 and tied 127, also collecting 51 shutouts. In post-season play, he added another 23 wins, two by shutout, and 23 losses in 48 games. He won a Vezina (in a tandem with Gump Worsley) and two Stanley Cup rings. Vachon played primarily for the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings.
Quinn was a given, and gets in over Don Cherry as a builder. He won the Jack Adams twice (1980 and 1992), Olympic gold in 2002 and other titles. He has 684 coaching wins, seventh all-time. Quinn passed away in Nov. 2014.
Among the snubs: Mark Recchi, 12th in career points (1,533) and 20th in career goals (577); Dave Andreychuk, who has 640 career goals; and Paul Kariya, a point-per-game player during the trap years whose career was cut short by concussions.
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