As the Flyers honored Eric Lindros on Thursday night, raising his iconic No. 88 to the Wells Fargo Center rafters, Paul Holmgren delivered a fitting salute to "Big E."
"You are back where you belong," the Flyers' president said during the pregame festivities. "This time, it's forever."
The crowd erupted before giving way to Lindros.
Just hours before his jersey retirement ceremony, the hockey Hall of Famer was taken aback by the calm before the storm.
"I just walked the concourse and this morning I went for a stroll to see all the shirts in the seats, it’s unbelievable," Lindros said. "This is one of those days that you take for the rest of your life. It's a special moment and you really feel lucky."
Then, Lindros was in awe when he took the podium.
"Wow, ha ha!" Lindros said as the fans roared. "This is crazy. Thank you, so much."
Lindros thanked his family, the organization and, of course, the fans.
Here was the touching finish to his speech, which you can watch in its entirety in the video above, along with the jersey being hoisted above the ice.
Flyers players are lucky to play in a city where the fans truly know the game of hockey, appreciate the little things and are of course rowdy, but also show heart. Like you showed the night that Mario Lemieux returned from his battle with cancer — a standing ovation, very classy and I won't forget it.
It's no secret that when I left Philadelphia, it was under less-than-ideal circumstances. I believe I'm here today, hockey aside, because of two people: my wife, Kina, and Paul Holmgren. Both, in their own ways, have taught me to move on, put in the past any differences of opinion, any hard feelings. It was time to remember the great moments I experienced here in Philadelphia, the friendships I have built in this great city and the respect I have for the fans of this team.
88...One of a kind pic.twitter.com/VenU9umpI4— John Boruk (@johnborukNBCS) January 19, 2018
In the rafters forever. pic.twitter.com/kFdK4H5BlL— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 19, 2018