Flyers

Flyers to retire Eric Lindros' No. 88 on Jan. 18

Updated: 1:40 p.m.

Eric Lindros has his place locked in the Hockey Hall of Fame forever.

He'll soon have his place hanging in the rafters above the Flyers' home ice forever, too.

The Flyers announced on Monday that Lindros' iconic No. 88 will be retired during a ceremony on Thursday, Jan. 18, prior to the game vs. his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs at the Wells Fargo Center.

"I'm extremely excited. [Flyers president Paul Holmgren] gave the call and I'm overwhelmed, really," Lindros said Monday afternoon on a conference call. "It's a real special honor. I mean, jeez, you look into those rafters and there's been a lot of great players, terrific players that have passed through and have had a chance to play in Philadelphia. To be up top and hang high up there, it's a real special thing when you look up at the names."

Lindros will join Bobby Clarke, Barry Ashbee, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent and Mark Howe as the only Flyers to have their numbers retired by the club.

"I'm not going to lie to you, I glance above every once and a while and look at that," Lindros said of the numbers above the Wells Fargo Center ice where his No. 88 will soon join them. "I don't think it really sinks in until you kind of walk through it and have it a little bit. I'm certainly excited about it."

After he was acquired from the Quebec Nordiques in 1992, Lindros became the face of a new era of hockey in Philadelphia in the 1990s with his skill, speed and hulking, dominating frame.

In his incredibly productive and often controversial 486-game Flyers career from 1992-2000, Lindros recorded 290 goals and 369 assists for 659 points, good for fifth on the franchise's all-time point-scoring list. "Big E's" 290 tallies are eighth most in team history. His 369 assists are seventh most in team history.

Despite the often contentious relationship between Lindros and the club, which reached its apex with the 2001 trade to the New York Rangers, ties have been mended and the two sides have remained in connection since Lindros played in the outdoor Alumni Game at Citizens Bank Park prior to the 2012 Winter Classic vs. the Rangers.

That connection has remained and grown stronger over time, leading to the honor Lindros received word of Monday morning.

"I think that years have gone by here and I've really talked at length with Homer and we've had great conversations," Lindros said. "We have a good sense of trust and understanding in one another. Things have just evolved since we began speaking at the outdoor game and prior to that."

"Eric has made an incredible and lasting impact on the Flyers organization, our fans and the game of hockey as a whole," Holmgren said in a release sent by the team. "We could not be more proud to raise his No. 88 to the rafters."

The Flyers became Lindros' team prior to the 1994-95 season when he was named the 11th captain in franchise history at the tender age of 21. To this day, he is still the youngest captain in Flyers history.

That same season, Lindros won the Hart Trophy for NHL MVP after he posted 29 goals and 41 assists for 70 points in the 48-game strike-shortened season. He and Clarke are the only two Flyers to win the Hart Trophy.

Lindros was a six-time NHL All-Star, all coming during his seasons with the Flyers. He also participated in three Olympic tournaments, winning gold with Team Canada in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

"Big E" was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame alongside "Legion of Doom" linemate John LeClair in November 2014. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last fall.

"I'm just extremely honored and fortunate," Lindros reiterated.