After being eligible for six years, Eric Lindros will finally be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this fall.
Legendary coach Pat Quinn, who chaired the Hall of Fame prior to his death in 2014, will enter into the Hall’s builder category.
“Being recognized by Pat’s hockey peers is truly a great honour,” said his wife, Sandra Quinn. “I’m proud of Pat and what he accomplished.”
Sergei Makarov, a famed member of the Red Army’s Russian Five and KLM Line, and Rogie Vachon, a three-time Stanley Cup–winning goalie, round out 2016’s four-member class.
Lindros, 43, won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 1995, led the Flyers to the 1997 Stanley Cup Final, and averaged more than a point a game in the regular season and playoffs during his dominant career as a power forward.
“I was very fortunate to have coaches, teammates, billets and parents who supported me throughout my career.” said Lindros. “It also takes a lot of luck to get to the NHL.”
Concussions and other injuries limited the Big E to 760 games, and relatively modest career totals of 372 goals, 493 assists and 865 points are believed to have played a factor in delaying his entry into the Hall.
The London, Ont., native was the NHL’s first overall draft pick in 1991. He represented Canada at three World Junior Championships, winning gold in 1990 and 1991.
Lindros was named an NHL all-star seven times and posted four 40-goal seasons in his prime with the Flyers.
He was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame back in 2012.
Makarov led the Soviet League in scoring for nine seasons, while also winning eight world championship gold medals and two Olympic gold medals. He later joined the NHL as a member of the Calgary Flames in 1989 and went on to play in over 400 NHL games.
“For everyone who plays the game, this is the top place,” said Markarov. “It will be so nice to join all of those great players.”
Vachon joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1966 and hoisted three Stanley Cups in his first six seasons. After being traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1971, he continued his stellar career for 11 more years before retiring to become an NHL coach and executive.
“I was very lucky to play for the Montreal Canadiens at the start of my career,” said Vachon. “My first shot on net was a breakaway by Gordie Howe. I stopped it and it kept me in the league for 16 more years.”
The 2016 induction celebration will be held Nov. 14 at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.