In the sport of hockey, the Number 88 is not really a popular number. Two names in today’s NHL come to mind, Patrick Kane, and David Pastrnak, both are very good players in the game today. However, in the Philadelphia area, 88 is the number of a man who helped change Philadelphia Flyers hockey for a long time. Eric Lindros was the man who not only wore that number but helped make the Flyers a tough team to play from 1992 to 2000.
Eric Lindros was drafted number 1 overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1991, before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for Peter Forsberg. He played his first game on October 6th, 1992 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He wound scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game where the helped the Flyers 3rd period comeback. Lindros won the Calder Trophy in 1992 for being the NHL’s best Rookie that season, posting 41 Goals and 34 Assists. Eric went ahead and scored 40+ goals in 3 other seasons (93-94, 95-96, 98-99).
Eric wasn’t just a goal scorer, he could pass the puck as well. He never had a season in his career where he didn’t have under 30 assists until his final year with the New York Rangers. He was something special to watch in the 8 years he spent in Philadelphia.
Eric was more than just an offensive minded player. He was a 6’4” 240 pound juggernaut who knew how to throw his weight around. Lindros brought a physical presence to the Flyers that fit into the whole theme of the “Broad Street Bullies”. This made Eric a duel threat and a complete player. In Philadelphia, the fan base loves players that know how to not only score but who can play a physical game too. This made him very fun to watch and a quick fan favorite. It also made him the face of the franchise.
After 8 seasons with the Flyers, Eric Lindros was traded to the New York Rangers for Jan Hlavac, Kim Johnsson, Pavel Brendl, and a middle round pick. He played 486 games in his 8 years in Philly, tallying 290 Goals and 369 assists. Eric will always be a staple of what Flyers hockey should be. For his efforts, the Flyers will honor him by retiring and raising his number 88 to the rafters of the Wells Fargo January 18, 2018 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. There is no better way for an organization to thank a player who has done what Lindros did for the Flyers, he will always be thought of as a Flyer, and now he will be a Flyer for eternity.