It took a while but three players who made the Flyers a powerhouse in the late '90s are finally getting into the team's Hall of Fame.
Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins will be inducted into the shrine during the upcoming season, the team announced on Thursday.
"We are very pleased and excited to add Eric Desjardins, Eric Lindros and John LeClair to the Flyers' Hall of Fame," said team president Paul Holmgren in making the announcement.
"Desjardins was a seven-time Barry Ashbee Trophy winner as the best Flyers defenseman and a keystone on the blueline that led the Flyers to great success over many years in Philadelphia.
"Lindros was a great Flyer during his years here. He won the Most Valuable Player for the 1994-95 season and helped the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1997.
"John put together multiple 50-goal seasons. He was a well-respected, hard-nosed left-winger that just knew how to score goals. He had a great career as a Flyer.
"All three players are among the greatest in the history of the Flyers and are very deserving to join our Hall of Fame."
Team chairman Ed Snider said all three players were deserving selections.
"It's exciting to welcome Eric Desjardins, Eric Lindros and John LeClair into the Flyers Hall of Fame," Snider said. "All three players helped define our teams in the '90s and early 2000s that went to a combined four Eastern Conference finals and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997. This honor is well deserved."
Lindros, who didn't leave the team on the best of terms after forcing a trade to the New York Rangers in 2001, has mended some fences with the team over the years and was even seen sharing a few laughs with former general manager Bob Clarke during the 2012 Winter Classic in Philadelphia.
"I am honored to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame, a hall full of diversity," said Lindros. "What made this news even more special is to hear that I will be entering alongside John who I had the good fortune of playing with for most of my time in Philly. I look forward to seeing old friends and to be back in the Wells Fargo Center alongside the Flyer Faithful."
LeClair ranks up with Bill Barber and Brian Propp (both in the Flyers' Hall) as one of the top left wings in franchise history.
"I'm very excited and very honored," said LeClair. "The time I spent in Philadelphia was just terrific, and the experiences I had playing in the city and with the fans were some of the most exciting moments."
Desjardins is also compared with Hall of Famer Mark Howe, current defenseman Kimmo Timonen and some of the greats from the '70s (Jimmy and Joe Watson, Ed Van Impe, Andre Dupont).
"This means a lot to me," said Desjardins. "After spending so many years with the Flyers and being retired for almost nine years now, it's a great feeling. It is something you don't think about when you are playing but once you're retired and an honor like this happens, it is very special."
Lindros, a first-round draft pick of Quebec in 1991, was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Nordiques in the summer of 1992. He made his NHL debut that fall in the club's 1992 season opener against Pittsburgh, scoring a goal in a 3-3 tie. It was the first of his 41 goals that season, which established a franchise record for goals scored by a rookie that still stands.
Lindros was named the 11th captain in Flyers history on Sept. 6, 1994, and at the age of 21 became the youngest player in franchise history to hold the role. He recorded a 70-point season (29 goals, 41 assists) in 46 games during the shortened season of 1994-95, which tied for the league lead and earned him the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player, joining Bobby Clarke as the only two Flyers ever to win the award.
He scored a career-high 115 points the following season in 1995-96, which ranks as the fourth-highest single-season total in team history behind only Mark Recchi (123 pts, 1992-93) and Clarke (119 pts, 1975-76 and 116 pts, 1974-75). Lindros went on to post well above a point-per-game average in each of the next four seasons, never scoring fewer than 27 goals.
Lindros appeared in 486 games for the Flyers over eight seasons, rising to fifth on the club's all-time scoring list with 290 goals and 369 assists for 659 points. His career points-per-game average of 1.36 ranks first in franchise history. Lindros was a six-time NHL All-Star and appeared in three Olympic Games for Team Canada – in 1992 as an amateur and in 1998 and 2002 with other NHL players.
LeClair and Desjardins were acquired by the Flyers from the Montreal Canadiens on Feb. 9, 1995, along with Gilbert Dionne, in exchange for Mark Recchi and a third-round pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft.
LeClair recorded 25 goals and 24 assists for 37 points in 49 games over the rest of that season, and then went on to produce one of the best four-year stretches of any player in Flyers' history by recording 371 points (195 goals, 176 assists) in 322 games, including consecutive seasons of 50, 51 and 50 goals respectively in the 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98 campaigns.
The Vermont native is one of only two Flyers, along with Tim Kerr, ever to post 50 or more goals in three or more consecutive seasons. He led the Flyers in goals for a total of five consecutive seasons – those three, along with 43 and 40 goals, respectively, in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. LeClair appeared in 90 percent or more of the Flyers' games in eight of his 10 seasons with the club, scoring at least 23 goals in each of those eight seasons. He played in all 82 games on five occasions, including three seasons in a row from 1995-98.
Over his 10 seasons with the Flyers from 1995-2004, LeClair recorded 333 goals and 310 assists for 643 points in 649 games. He ranks seventh in scoring on the Flyers all-time list (third among left wings) and is fifth in goals scored, fourth in power-play goals (102), and shares third place in hat tricks with Lindros (11). He was a five-time NHL All-Star and represented Team USA at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics.
From 1995 through 1997, Lindros and LeClair joined Mikael Renberg to form the Legion of Doom line, one of the most famous lines in Flyers' history. Over those two seasons, the three players combined for 225 goals and 490 points.
Desjardins became one of the highest-scoring defensemen in Flyers history, recording 396 points (93 goals, 303 assists) over 738 career games to rank second in franchise history among blueliners in goals, assists and points, behind only Mark Howe. Two of his best seasons came in 1998-99 and 1999-2000, the first of which saw him record 51 points (15 goals, 36 assists) in just 68 games. The following year, Desjardins posted 55 points (14 goals, 41 assists) in 80 games. He was named a second-team postseason NHL All-Star in both seasons and finished in the top five in Norris Trophy voting in both of those years.
Desjardins was named the 12th captain in Flyers history on March 27, 2000 and held that post until October of 2001. He was a seven-time Barry Ashbee Award winner as the Flyers' best defenseman, which is a franchise high, and was a three time NHL All-Star – once with Montreal in 1992 and twice with the Flyers, in 1996 and 2000. He also was a member of Team Canada at the 1998 Winter Olympics.