Monday was seventh heaven for Eric Lindros.
Lindros, in his seventh year of eligibility, was named to the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class today, along with longtime Montreal/L.A. goalie Rogie Vachon, famed Russian forward Sergei Makarov and former player/head coach Pat Quinn, who was inducted in the builder’s category after passing away two years ago.
Known as “The Big E” during his playing days, Lindros was one of the most dominant power forwards in NHL history — yet it was his brief window of dominance that was often at the center of HHOF debates. When Lindros was healthy and in his prime, he was elite. He captured the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1995, and was (at the time) the fourth-fastest player in NHL history to score 300 and 400 points.
Despite being active for 15 season, health problems — specifically a series of recurring concussion symptoms — limited Lindros to just 760 career games played. He did finish with 865 points in those games, and another 57 in 53 career playoff contests.
Vachon, who retired in 1982 and has been eligible for quite some time, finally got his call from the hall. A three-time Stanley Cup winner, Vachon captured the Vezina as the NHL top netminder in 1968, and held a number of the Kings’ franchise records during his seven seasons in L.A.
One of the most decorated international competitors of all time, Makarov was a staple of the Soviet Untion national teams in the 70s and 80s, winning two Olympic gold medals and eight world championships. He joined the Calgary Flames in 1989 and — at the age of 31 — scored 86 points in 80 games to capture the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.
(The league has since implemented an age rule on the Calder, largely because of Makarov.)
Quinn, a two-time Jack Adams winner for coach of the year, led both Philadelphia (1980) and Vancouver (1994) to the Stanley Cup Finals as a bench boss and was highly decorated internationally, winning gold medals at the U-18, World Junior, World Cup and — most famously — the Olympic level, guiding Canada to victory in 2002 at Salt Lake.
Quinn also had served as the chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame.