Eric Lindros on the Rangers’ newest No. 88: ‘He’s got the swagger’
The final Corridor-of-Famer to put on No. 88 for the Rangers doesn’t maintain the strictest watch on the NHL and considered one of his former groups lately. He’s a father of three, a Canadian hockey dad now. However Eric Lindros, whose NHL journey almost took him to New York at its tumultuous begin earlier than he ended there a decade later for 3 largely disappointing seasons, is aware of what it means when somebody like Patrick Kane makes it to the Rangers.
“He’s got the swagger, similar to New York does,” Lindros stated. “There’s one thing particular about that place, about the Backyard — it’s not just a few hockey rink. You stroll down the road and you may simply as simply stumble upon Al Pacino as Artemi Panarin. Patrick is a particular participant and hopefully, he goes there to maintain doing what he’s achieved, possibly much more.”
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The 2 eras for the two 88s couldn’t be extra completely different. Maybe the solely factor that hyperlinks Lindros and Kane is a few of the star energy on the Ranger groups they got here to — Lindros arrived earlier than the 2001-02 season to hitch Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter and Theo Fleury. Pavel Bure would signal on close to the commerce deadline. However the Rangers weren’t Lindros’ first selection as he sat out the 2000-01 season with the Flyers resulting from a contract dispute, amongst different disputes between Lindros and then-Flyers GM Bobby Clarke.
“I stated Toronto initially,” he stated. “That’s residence, I at all times had a dream of enjoying there. The deal was achieved a pair occasions, then (Leafs GM) Pat Quinn gave a press convention the place he stated that they had a achieved deal and it was reneged on. So it was irritating not getting there sooner.”
Glen Sather swooped in, buying and selling what appeared like an enormous package deal at the time: Jan Hlavac, Kim Johnsson, 1999 No. 4 choose Pavel Brendl and a third-rounder. Lindros arrived with some fanfare, besides the world modified immediately on his first day as a Ranger.
The Sept. 11 terrorist assaults occurred on the opening day of coaching camp. Lindros was staying with Messier; the newest Ranger star took a automobile down from the higher west facet of Manhattan to the ABC studio, the place he was alleged to be on “Regis and Kelly.” A tearful Kelly Ripa greeted them in the foyer as the assaults unfolded in New York and Washington.
“It was only a loopy time to be there,” Lindros stated. “It was simply terrible. After which, the feeling of the metropolis pulling collectively, it was inspiring, actually. I bear in mind (former Rangers VP of communications) John Rosasco speaking to us, saying the individuals in the metropolis want one thing get behind, to be ok with, and let’s make the Rangers part of that. It was taken to coronary heart.”
Lindros had a robust first half of that 2001-02 season earlier than a concussion derailed him simply after Christmas. The Rangers went from the high of the standings to out of the playoff image in a matter of weeks, the fourth of seven consecutive seasons and not using a playoff sport. Knee and head accidents stored Lindros from carrying out what he hoped in three years with the Rangers.
Kane arrives with what’s been reported as a nagging hip damage that doubtless wants surgical procedure after the season. The danger you soak up buying a late-career star is that they could merely be too worn right down to be as efficient as the Rangers would need.
“It wasn’t the similar as I’d been, for positive,” he stated. “I didn’t play like I used to. I didn’t react as fast.”
And the staff wasn’t as collectively as Lindros had hoped. “Some guys had been up by the follow rink (in Westchester), some guys had been in the metropolis,” he stated, “and issues got clique-y.”
Kane is coming to a staff with a detailed pal in Panarin, a former Olympic teammate in GM Chris Drury and a bunch of younger gamers who idolized Kane of their youth. The scenario is completely different.
Lindros doesn’t watch a lot Rangers hockey anymore. However he may simply tune in now.
“It’s not for everybody,” Lindros stated of enjoying in New York. “Nevertheless it’s a simple place to embrace. It’ll at all times be one thing particular for me. And I’m positive it nonetheless is for the guys there now.”
(Picture: Rick Stewart / Getty Photographs / NHLI)