Friday, November 9, 2007

Big "E"xpectations

Unless you have been under a rock all week, you are aware of two things. It's Hall of Fame Week in the NHL and Eric Lindros has officially retired. These two things, to this point, have nothing to do with each other. But it's only a matter of time until Eric Lindros's name is on the ballet to be voted on for the Hall of Fame. The question of the week has been has been a simple one.

Does Eric Lindros belong in the NHL Hall of Fame?

My response immediately is yes. Lets just take a look at the numbers to start. 760 games played, 372 goals, 493 assists, good for 865 points. That breaks down to 1.13 points a game. Good numbers for any hockey player, but as we all know Lindros had a problem with his NHL career, he couldn't stay healthy. In 13 NHL season Eric Lindros only played 4 seasons that in which he didn't miss significant time. His last two season with the Leafs and Stars where nothing short of brutal. Yet, over his career, he averaged 1.13 points a game. He was one of the games best hitters, his only minus season in the +/- column came in his one year with the Leafs, he had 46 game winning goals, and in 50 games in the NHL Playoffs he scored 24 goals and had 57 points. Lindros could change the outcome of the any game he was in. He made other players better, for no other reason then they where playing on his line. In 13 shortened years in the NHL he is tied for 248th in goals, 420 in assists and 355th in points all time. Those rankings get even better if you just compare him to forwards overall in the NHL. Now the kicker.

What if he had stayed healthy?

Players can't change the fact they get injured and I for one give any player, not just Lindros, credit for what they might have accomplished if they where healthy. Lindros was one of hockey's best talents, an asshole, but he could play hockey. He should be in the Hall of Fame.

Then again, this is just a damned opinion.

~ damned

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