Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yeah, but you didn't report to the Nords

As a Belleville Bulls fan that remembers the late '80s all too well, this is not going to be easy. But, news today that Eric Lindros is donating $5 million to London Health Science Centre needs to be highlighted.

It's thought to be the biggest single donation by a Canadian athlete in history.

Lindros was an amazing talent (so was his brother) that has never been given the credit that he deserves. He's likely a Hall of Famer. He was on the Canada Cup team at 18 and he was the most dominating junior player I've ever seen play live (usually while screaming obscenities at him, it must be said). Yet, we (mostly) still view him as a spoiled brat that first refused to go to Sault Ste Marie, then held the Quebec Nordiques hostage.

Lindros was a teenager when those things happened. He grew up. It's time his critics did too and celebrated him for what he was--a incredibly talented player that was hard hit by injuries throughout his career--and for what he is now--a guy that gives $5 million to charity.


Tim said...

I saw him play at 18 for Team Canada in and exhibition game v. Team USA in Detroit. I wondered if he could handle playing w/ men. Early on he went around their net on his forehand, stick in one hand fending off Kevin Hatcher w/ the other. When he came around the net, he threw Hatcher to the ground with the one hand and fired a one handed shot that was stopped w/ the other. Being the talent scout I am, I knew at the time he had a shot... Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Like another former Oshawa General several generations before him Lindros had a great career.
But like Bobby Orr, Lindros never fully realized his enormous potential due to a series of devastating and chronic injuries.
With Orr, it was his mangled knees damaged
as much by invasive surgery as they were by opposing players.
With Lindros, it was a number of things but mainly a series of debilitating concussions that eventually took its toll.
I think he might be a HOF player, but I don't think he is a shoo-in.
Another player of Lindros' generation that began his career with equal brilliance but ebbed substatially in recent years is Paul Kariya.

sager said...

Lindros, numbers-wise, was kind of the Dick Allen of hockey as far as how history is/will/has judged him.

Both of them put up great numbers over a relatively brief career that took place entirely within a low-scoring era. Each of them had problems with the media, and both played in Philadelphia. Eerie.