Eric Lindros harbours no bitterness toward the man who almost ended his career.
In fact, the Big E was quite gracious yesterday when speaking of retiring defenceman Scott Stevens, whose bone-rattling hit on Lindros during the 2000 playoffs must be considered one of the most memorable body checks in National Hockey League history.
The play left Lindros with his sixth concussion in 27 months, causing many to predict that his playing days had screeched to a halt.
But Lindros thankfully was able to return to action and is now living a childhood dream by finally wearing Maple Leafs blue and white.
"He is very strong and mobile for a big person, something you might not expect," Lindros said yesterday after an informal workout at Lakeshore Lions Arena.
"You thought you had a few moments of grace, then, all of a sudden, he did what he had to do."
Because Lindros spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, he had many an Atlantic Division battle against those suffocating New Jersey Devils teams captained by Stevens.
"It seemed you always had to go through Jersey to get to the playoffs," Lindros said.
Stevens officially hung up his blades Tuesday, ending an illustrious 22-year career that one day will be honoured with a berth in the Hockey Hall of Fame.