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Five Questions With...

Five Questions with Eric Lindros

Hockey Hall of Famer discusses today's game, fondest memories, playing style

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Hockey Hall of Fame center Eric Lindros.

Eric Lindros is considered one of the most revered power forwards in NHL history.

Possessing a rare combination of speed, size (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) and extraordinary talent, Lindros was a dominant a player in his prime.

Despite having his career interrupted by six concussions, he played 13 NHL seasons, including the first eight with the Philadelphia Flyers. He had 659 points, including 290 goals, in 486 games and averaged a franchise-record 1.36 points per game with the Flyers, who retired his No. 88 in a ceremony on Jan. 18 at the Wells Fargo Center. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016.

Video: TOR@PHI: Flyers raise Lindros' 88 into the rafters

"He's a celebrity now," said former NHL coach and hockey personality Don Cherry, who co-hosts "Coach's Corner" on Hockey Night in Canada. "There was a span there for five years, where Eric was the best NHL player in the world; there was no one close to him. I saw him in junior (in Oshawa) and he was a monster then. That line he was on with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg in Philly was dynamite."

Lindros was traded to the New York Rangers on Aug. 20, 2001 and played three seasons in Manhattan. He also played one season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and one with the Dallas Stars before retiring at age 33 having played 760 regular-season and 53 playoff games; he never played on a Stanley Cup winner. His final regular-season totals: 372 goals, 493 assists, 865 points and 1,398 penalty minutes.

Video: Eric Lindros had unique skill for power forward

Lindros now enjoys life with his wife, Kina, and their children, 3 1/2-year-old Carl and 2-year-old twins Ryan and Sophie. NHL.com caught up to him at the 2018 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Guelph, Ontario, on Jan. 25 when he served as coach for Team Bobby Orr.

Here are Five Questions With … Eric Lindros:

 

Would you consider going back to your roots to coach in Oshawa of the Ontario Hockey League at any point?

"It's always fun going back to Oshawa every once in a while, but I haven't been out there in some time. I've got three young kids, so I'm not in that position where I can go do something like that. Everything starts at home for me at this stage in my career. We'll see what happens as my kids get older."

 

Do you feel speed and skill are replacing strength and power in today's NHL?

"It's impossible to compare to when I played because the rules aren't the same. It was not a big deal to hold someone by the arm or stick to slow them down back then. That was the way it was, and it was all about barreling through and trying to get into the zone. Now it's a completely different game and the speed reflects that. The red line is out and it's become a fast game.

"But sooner or later you get into a situation where you have to fight for ground and territory, especially in front of the net, in the corners and on faceoffs. Faceoffs are key and probably underrated because if you start your shift without the puck, you're behind the eight ball. If you start a shift with the puck, you have a better chance to score."

 

Can you reflect on your fondest NHL moment?

"I think it's just the spirit of Philadelphia. When you get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and you begin that ride to a home game at Wells Fargo Center and get to the rink before the game, everyone is just great because the fans were heading to the rink way earlier than the game. Players head over [to the rink] over two hours before the game, but there still was traffic. There was a great spirit in the city when things got rolling, playoff time. The fans buy in and the support you have in Philadelphia is incredible. The playoffs were a wonderful time of the year to play hockey."

 

Why do you think the Vegas Golden Knights are doing so well in their first NHL season?

"I'm an outsider and speaking from the couch like everybody else so I don't know if it's fair I comment, but I think the success in Vegas does show the great parity in the League. Also, I think it kind of proves that you have a bunch of [ticked] off guys wanting to prove something to their former teams. If you can harness that with great coaching, and they have, I think that only adds another positive element."

 

Do you ever think that playing a different style of game may have extended your NHL career?

"The only thing I think I might have changed in my game would be to tone down the physicality of it all by about 20 percent. I think maybe that would have enabled my body to respond a little bit differently and maybe longer. But it is what it is, and I had a lot of fun doing what I did for 13 seasons. I never considered being the center of attention most games as a bad thing; you want to have that. It's an opportunity to rise to the occasion so you embrace it and you try your best."

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