No Surprise That Lindros Is Once Again Popular In Philly

31 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — A few years ago, it would have been a pipedream. There’s no way Eric Lindros would be received well in Philadelphia. Well, on Friday for the one-time-only alumni practice there was No. 88 getting cheered everywhere he went.

Whenever he skated to a different area of the ice, fans behind him, five people deep, went wild. When Lindros first agreed to return to Philly for the alumni game he did so reluctantly. He didn’t think they’d welcome him back.

Well, then.

“It’s just nice to come back and skate on Flyer ice and do what we did as kids and what we did as professionals and come back and enjoy it, really,” said Lindros after the practice. “That’s what it’s about, and that’s what I’m taking in this weekend.”

He was also happy to be reunited with some of his old teammates.

“Johnny [LeClair] was good,” said Lindros. “He’s still got it.”

The only thing missing was Mikael Renberg so the Legion of Doom could fully reunite. Instead, he’s covering the World Juniors in Western Canada for Swedish television.

“If Mikael can skate, absolutely,” said LeClair. “It was fun. It was great seeing a lot of guys who I haven’t seen in a while. It was a good time.”

Bernie Parent was on the ice making saves. Many members of the Stanley Cup teams were reminiscing, but the star of the show was Lindros.

“Lindros was a very important Flyer,” said Bobby Clarke. “I’ve seen him as a kid playing. I’ve seen him play for the Flyers. I loved the way that he played hockey.

“It broke up, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was important to the Flyers, and that’s what this is about. It’s not about individuals.”

Perhaps he wasn’t sure of his reception, but Lindros wasn’t surprised that Flyers fans would show up in mass numbers.

“No, not with Flyers fans,” he said. “They’re pretty supportive of everything that goes on, so I’m not surprised in the least.”

Jeremy Roenick knows about being in Flyers fans’ doghouse. But even he knew that Lindros would be a hit upon his return.

“He fell victim to a lot of the politics of sports,” said Roenick. “He loved being here in Philly. I’m sure the people will give him a really good ovation and appreciation for what he did for the Flyers.”

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