HHOF Profile: Eric Lindros

eric-lindros-tri-e1414074342595There is no doubt that young stars are taking over the league as the NHL is seeing more young players have a real impact on the league.

As the league is taken over by these young stars the demand to find the next stars is increasing as well.

Young players are being pegged for NHL far before they were ever before and the pressure is only building.

Whereas players who came into the league years ago as young stars and were expected to struggle on the bottom lines before they had an impact these days the young stars are expected to carry teams.

Every year it seems like the pressure for these teenagers to perform only increases as lately they have been considered franchise savers.

They aren’t simply young players who will come in and develop their skills to be good contributors to their team.

Now they are the players that teams build their entire franchise around and when they don’t pan out as good as many say it leaves an entire franchise out of luck.

They are constantly trying to find those players and when building up the future of the game they tend to over-exaggerate.

That makes it very hard to meet expectations for these young players as they are expected to bring a championship to a city all by themselves but can’t do it all by themselves.

It is a new era in the league where young players are key and those young players are having more pressure put on them than ever before.

That doesn’t mean that this type of pressure has never been seen before though as there have always been young stars.

In the decades before this one, they came fewer and further between as young superstars were not being revealed every year.

There were few players that people saw when they were teenagers and thought that they could have an impact almost immediately in the league.

Eric Lindros was one of those players as he was only 15 years old playing with the St. Mike’s Buzzers when people began to take notice.

Lindros was the version of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid long before either was even close to being considered future superstars in the league.

Lindros was the teenage sensation that was supposed to be the next one after Wayne Gretzky began taking over the league.

He was a dream for every team as the young star was an intimidating presence on the ice standing at 6’4” and weighing in at 240 lbs.

As a teenager, he was fully grown and was always one of the biggest players on the ice.

He was able to use that big body to play a physical game but that was far from his biggest attribute on the ice.eric-lindros-flyers

More importantly, he had a scoring touch that was unique and still is unique throughout the league.

He was able to score almost at will when he was playing in the juniors and when he played on the international stage he was a hard problem to solve for international teams.

Scouts saw this combination of size and ability and they immediately began making him one of the top prospects in the game.

Everyone wanted him and eventually, he landed in Philadelphia where his skillset and size seemed to fit in perfectly.

It wasn’t an entirely smooth transition to the NHL as he entered the draft as the top prospect but told the Quebec Nordiques, who held the first overall pick, that he would not report should they take him.

They did take him and Lindros kept his word leading the Nordiques to work out a trade to Philadelphia.

That left a sour taste in the mouth of many as Lindros immediately gained the reputation of a spoiled star.

Despite that he became one of the greatest players in the league over his first few years quickly making good on the expectations laid upon him from an early age.

Then came the one thing that has held Lindros back from the Hall of Fame for his short wait to be placed among the best of all time.

He began suffering injuries on a regular basis including concussions that ended his meteoric rise through the NHL.

He went from being one of the best players to damaged goods in a matter of a few seasons and he never truly met his full potential.

He was still great but many were left to wonder just how good he could have been if he could have stayed off of the injured list.

For that reason, he was the source of some debate for the Hall of Fame but the fact is that combination of his great junior years and his great years in the NHL means “Big E” enters the Hockey Hall of Fame amongst the greatest ever.

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