Highs, lows of Lindros

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

- Born in London, Ont., Feb. 28, 1973, the son of Carl and Bonnie Lindros, who also acted as agents early in his career. "He pushes us, we don't push him," Carl insisted.

- A dominant minor-hockey player, he had 67 points in 37 games and almost 200 penalty minutes for the Toronto St. Mike's Jr. B's in 1988-89.

- Tagged "The Next One" by the media as the heir to Wayne Gretzky. He had a book written about him before he turned 20.

- Warned Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds owner Phil Esposito not to draft him, preferring a local team and successfully lobbied to be traded to Oshawa. Had 97 goals and 119 assists in 95 games for the Generals, who won the 1990 Memorial Cup.

- At the 1991 NHL draft, his family told the Quebec Nordiques not to pick him first overall, arguing that distance, lack of marketing and language made it an undesirable locale. He spent the '91-92 season starring with the Gens and wowing the NHLers with the '91 Canada Cup team.

- After vowing to force him to play there, the Nords traded him at the '92 draft for five players, a first-round pick, $15 million US and future considerations. The Nords also were trying to deal him to the Rangers and an arbitrator eventually had to rule in favour of the Flyers. The Nords used the players as the backbone of two Cup runs in Colorado.

- In '92, Lindros was photographed in handcuffs after Durham Regional Police charged him with common assault for allegedly pouring beer on and spitting on a patron at Koo Koo Bananas bar in Whitby. He was acquitted and filed a complaint against police for the cuff treatment.

- The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Lindros -- "an apartment building on skates" as GM Bob Clarke described him, set out to re-write the Flyers record book. Recorded his first of 865 NHL points on Oct. 6, 1992, scoring against Pittsburgh's Tom Barrasso.

- As part of forward lines nicknamed The Crazy Eights and The Legion Of Doom, he had seasons of 75 and 93 points. In the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, the new team captain won both the Hart and Pearson awards as NHL MVP, the youngest Hart winner since Gretzky.

- The dream of playing with brother Brett ended with the latter's retirement with post concussion syndrome in fewer than two years with the New York Islanders.

- In 1996-97, the first signs of Eric's own injury trouble appeared. He missed 30 games and despite reaching the Cup final, scored just one goal in a sweep by the Red Wings. He feuded with coach Terry Murray, who was later fired.

- Sniping with Clarke increased in the next few years, with Lindros' perceived lack of toughness becoming front-page news. The first of many concussions sidelined him in 1998.

- A fight with the Lindros family over the quality of the Flyers' medical care escalated in the spring of 1999. Roommate Keith Jones found him in a near unconscious state in their Nashville hotel. What the Flyers thought was a rib injury was determined by a Nashville hospital to be a collapsed lung that might have been fatal if he'd taken the team's advice to fly home.

- During 1999-2000, his ongoing criticism of the medical staff leads Clarke to strip his captaincy.

- The 2000 playoffs resulted in his most serious head injury, a thundering bodycheck by Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils.

- That summer, the restricted free agent refused the $8.5- million qualifying offer from the Flyers to try to force a deal with his childhood team, the Maple Leafs. Once more, he sat out a season.

- In 2001, after various failed deals with the Leafs for players such as Danny Markov, Nik Antropov and Tomas Kaberle, the Flyers successfully moved him to the New York Rangers for three players and a pick. He helped drive the Rangers' payroll over $70 million, then an NHL record.

- The change of scenery, joining his favourite player Mark Messier, saw Lindros complete his first full season in the NHL, with 53 points in 81 games.

- Lindros was part of the 2002 Canadian gold-medal team at Salt Lake City.

- The Rangers failed to make the playoffs in 2004 and Lindros was felled by his eighth concussion. Though receiving some independent medical advice to quit hockey, he became an unrestricted free agent, only to be sidelined with 700 other players by the second lockout. He took an economics course at the University of Toronto to fill up his time.

- One of the longest courtships in NHL history ended on Aug. 11, 2005, when Lindros joined the Leafs, a one-year, $1.55-million experiment. Briefly leading the team on and off the ice with Mats Sundin hurt, Lindros eventually succumbed to a torn wrist ligament. Coming back prematurely almost three months later, the hand was damaged beyond repair for that season.

- When the Leafs didn't re-sign him, he joined the Dallas Stars in 2006, playing 49 games and getting 26 points. He appeared in the '07 playoffs for the first time since 2000.

- Since then, he has gradually increased his advisory role with the NHLPA, starting in his Toronto days when he lined up with the first anti-Ted Saskin faction.


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