Welcome back, #88

This past Thursday, the Flyers announced “The Big E” is back with the team in a pretty significant capacity.

Flyers legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Eric Lindros is now an official team ambassador, which in other words means we are going to be seeing a lot more of #88.

According to the Flyers, Lindros will now be seen at more community events and fan appearances, as well as corporate partner engagements. Lindros is participating in the ALL IN Challenge, which involves numerous celebrities and athletes striving to raise money for COVID-19 relief.

From the Flyers site, Lindros had this to say on his appointment:

“I look forward to being back with my Flyers family and kicking things off in a way that makes a positive impact during a time of need,” said Eric Lindros. “Philadelphia has always been my home away from home and I’m eager to continue connecting with and giving back to the passionate Flyers fan base that has treated me so well over the past two decades.”

As a hardcore Flyers fan, it is only right to see Eric Lindros back in the fold here in Philadelphia.

Lindros was the youngest captain in Flyers history, when he was appointed captain at the age of 21. He quickly became one of the most dominant players in the NHL, and his stretch in a Flyers uniform is one of the most dominant of a single player in league history. He scored 659 points in 486 games donning the orange and black, while never playing more than 73 games in the regular season. Just let that sink in, Lindros was that dominant while averaging only 60-61 games a season. If not for his battle with concussions and other injuries, his already elite numbers would most likely be even better.

Lindros would win the Hart Trophy in the 1994-1995 season as he scored an incredible 70 points in 46 games. Lindros would have two other top-three nominations for the Hart Trophy in his time in Philadelphia, as alongside John LeClair and Mikael Renberg the “Legion of Doom” line was feared league-wide.

Lindros and the Flyers were perennial playoff contenders but could only manage one Stanley Cup appearance, along with two other runs to the Eastern Conference Finals. Both Conference Finals saw defeats to the New Jersey Devils and Martin Brodeur, as their lone Stanley Cup appearance marked the beginning of the Red Wings dynasty in a sweep. Some may think of that era of Flyers hockey as a disappointment, but the level of excitement the team was generating year after year was undeniable, with Lindros spearheading it.

Looking back over the past few years, you can truly see how appreciative Lindros has been of his reception from Flyers fans too. His participation in the Flyers vs. Rangers alumni game at the 2012 Winter Classic was met with huge fanfare. I was there to see his #88 raised into the rafters of Wells Fargo Center in January 2018, an action symbolic of the good relations that exist between the two parties.

The dramatic and messy breakup between the Flyers and Lindros is all water under the bridge at this point. The connection between this fanbase and #88 never faded, and now Lindros can be more visible to the city and the league as a whole. A player with his pedigree and place in the game’s history deserves that much.

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