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See Flyers raise No. 88 to the rafters in honor of Lindros

Hockey Hall of Famer immortalized in Philadelphia for incredible career

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Lindros' number retired by Flyers

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

Eric Lindros has his No. 88 jersey raised into the rafters during a ceremony prior to the Flyers' game against the Maple Leafs

  • 01:44 •

It's hard not to picture Eric Lindros, a smooth, playmaking, tank, wearing a No. 88 Philadelphia Flyers jersey and making something happen out on the ice.

Lindros, who spent eight of his 14 seasons with the Flyers, became the sixth player to have his jersey number retired by the organization on Thursday.

"This is something... one of those days you take with you for the rest of your life," Lindros said. "It's a special moment. Just an extremely special moment. You really feel lucky."

Video: TOR@PHI: Flyers retire Lindros' number in ceremony

Lindros' impact on the franchise and the way hockey was played was immediate and forceful.

"A player that's dominant in all phases of the game. There hasn't been, maybe nobody like him in the history of the NHL in terms of the physical and skill package he had," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.

"Anyone who watched hockey growing up, if you followed the game at all, he's synonymous with the Flyers," Maple Leafs forward and former Flyer James Van Riemsdyk said. "Style of play, he fit in perfectly with the organization and what they're looking for in players. I think it was a good fit in that sense. He was a physical, imposing guy but he moved really well for a guy any size, let alone how big he was."

Lindros, the 1994-95 Hart Memorial Trophy winner, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2016. Though he spent time with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars, it was his 659 points in 486 games with the Flyers for which he will be remembered.

Video: NHL Tonight on playing against Eric Lindros

A banner with Lindros name and number was raised to the rafters at Wells Fargo Center. There it will join Bernie Parent, Mark Howe, Barry Ashbee, Bill Barber and Bobby Clarke forever.

"Look at the names up there already. I woke up this morning with a text from Mark Howe. Day couldn't start any better," Lindros said. "You got Bob up there and Bernie, Barry Ashbee, Billy Barber. It goes on and on. It's a real thrill. It's a completely special honor."

The man of the hour got to skate with his son Carl and talk with some of the current Flyers before a 3-2 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs.

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Big E is back in the @WellsFargoCtr Don't miss out! There's still time to join us tonight as we send #88 to the rafters. Get tickets: https://t.co/PVvgriZHH0 pic.twitter.com/emPCv8CGS7

"I was in the room a little bit today before pregame skate, talked with Wayne [Simmonds] and [Jakub] Voracek. Just chatting and everything's hockey based," Lindros said. "It's been a while since i've had a chance to do that. You play your Tuesday night and Thursday morning game, but it's not as pure as talking with the guys. It's a completely different ballgame now than in the past. Those guys, they're just machines, built for speed, built for... the hands and the skill level of today's player is far greater than even 5 years ago. It's fun to watch."

Tweet from @NHLFlyers: Giroux & Voracek on Big E... pic.twitter.com/cevqM6N1U3

Lindros has mended fences with the Flyers after his departure from the team in 2001 and the ceremony had him reflective of the time he spent there with his teammates.

"You don't really have... unless you have really good players to play with, you're not lucky enough to be in a situation like this unless you have formidable people to play with," Lindros said. "They pushed you, they made you better... I'm just lucky to be part of it and to play with those people."

On a night of tributes, it was former Flyers president Paul Holmgren, with whom Lindros had mended his relationship, who said the simple truth of the night.

"From this moment forward No. 88 will be among the great players in our rafters," Holmgren said. "For past, present and future generations to see and know that it's your number and your number only."

- NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor Adam Kimelman contributed to this report

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