Eric Lindros

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Eric Lindros, Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor

Rob's Rants: Rhys Hoskins, Eric Lindros, Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor

Here's the latest edition of Rob's Rants in which CSNPhilly's Rob Ellis does just that about the hottest topics in Philly sports.

Rhys is the word
What Rhys Hoskins has done in less than a full month in the majors has been unprecedented. It’s been staggering as a matter of fact. We’re not talking Phillies history. We’re talking history of baseball. Like 1876. He has 11 home runs this month after being called up Aug. 10. He’s a must-watch, whether at the park or on TV. But here’s the thing, we all know he can’t keep this pace up. We get it. Teams and pitchers will make adjustments, there will invariably be struggles, blah, blah, blah.

Can we enjoy it a little before the reality police pull us over for having too much fun? The cries from the “slow the roll” crowd have begun. Domonic Brown's six weeks of glory have been invoked in the conversation. This needs to stop. As dreadful as the last few years have been with this team, when Pat Neshek is your All-Star rep, you deserve to be able to savor a little and live in the here and now. As I’ve mentioned before, Hoskins is a hitter first. He works counts, he can hit from behind in counts. That will make him much less prone to long slumps or fading away like Brown. Here's what Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after Hoskins hurt his club over the weekend:

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young guy look that profound at home plate. That’s the part that tells me he can sustain, not necessarily this pace, but he can sustain because he doesn’t strike out. He will accept his walks. He doesn’t expand the strike zone. He uses the whole field. He’s a big guy with short movements to the ball. Pretty impressive.”

Yes it is.      

No. 88 in the rafters
Eric Lindros will become the sixth Flyers player to have his number retired. The ceremony will take place in January (see story)

Lindros was a phenomenal Flyer. He racked up 659 points in 486 games played with the orange and black. Yes, things got ugly the last couple of years with him and his parents and the Flyers' brass, namely then-general manager Bob Clarke. They gave up a ton for him and it didn’t result in a Cup. But when he was on the ice, he was a great player. The 6-4, 240-pound combo platter of size and speed was rare back in 1992 when Lindros broke into the league. The Flyers were perennial Cup contenders during his prime and through no fault of his own, they never had a good enough goalie.

Much like his Hockey Hall of Fame induction, Lindros' No. 88 being raised to the roof of the Wells Fargo Center is much deserved. 

The Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight was about one thing: money. Not Mayweather's keeping his perfect 49-0 record intact and surpassing Rocky Marciano. It was not about Conor McGregor's showing he could box or bringing MMA to a larger audience.

They were just the by-products.

There’s a reason why Mayweather’s nickname is “Money.” Conservative estimates have Mayweather earning in excess of $200 million when all is said and done with this fight. That will put him north of $1 billion made in his career. McGregor was a plumber less than a decade ago — he could take home $100 million for his work Saturday.

What about the Vegas bookmakers you ask? It was the most-bet fight ever — $85 million was wagered on the bout.

Forget the trash talk, the racial implications, the misogyny. This was a well-orchestrated dance between the two the entire time leading up to the fight. Mayweather may have won the fight on a TKO in the 10th. But both guys were victorious.    

Despite the often ugly times we exist in, we are still a country that rallies around one another and can show incredible depths of kindness and humanity, especially in times of need. The people of Southeast Texas and surrounding areas are in crisis mode. Hurricane Harvey’s devastation will be felt for years to come. Fifty-four counties have been impacted. The videos and still shots are shocking and unbelievable. It’s been dubbed an unprecedented natural disaster. Here’s how you can help.

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

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.

Eric Lindros joins 'incredible list' with Living Legend Award

Eric Lindros joins 'incredible list' with Living Legend Award

CHERRY HILL, N.J -- What can you say about Eric Lindros that hasn’t been said so far?
He was the fifth-fastest player to score 500 points (just 352 games). He scored 865 points in 760 NHL games.
Lindros ranks among the Flyers’ top 10 in goals (290), assists (369) and points (659). He is also third in all-time scoring among Flyers centermen.
This past November, Lindros was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Friday night, “The Big E” was honored by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association with its Living Legend Award, an honor that has been given to such athletes as Bill Bergey, Billy Cunningham, Richie Ashburn and Larry Holmes.
“It’s been an incredible year. A year to reflect,” Lindros said after receiving the award at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. “I think about how fortunate I am and the people I’ve met along the way … the sacrifices of parents.
“Every event is meaningful. You look back to who has won this in the past, it’s an incredible list and a real honor to be associated with them.”
Lindros was the most dominant power forward of his generation in the 1990s and played eight of his 13 NHL seasons as a Flyer, for whom he is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame, as well.
His “Legion of Doom” line had two years of remarkable seasons under coach Terry Murray, with a record 255 points in 1995-96 and 235 points in 1996-97, the only year he, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg skated together in a Stanley Cup Final.
“It wasn’t until I was 15 or 16 that I thought maybe I could take a shot at this and play pro and make a team,” Lindros said. “I never thought for a second that things would evolve into what they did. I just never thought at that scale. Just thought about playing.”
Lindros said he still appreciates the bond he shared with Flyers fans despite all the concussion turmoil and issues he had with management during the end of his career with the franchise.
His ovation at the 2012 Winter Classic was among the loudest of any anyone, even louder than Bob Clarke. The fans loved him and remembered him and appreciate what he meant to the future generation of athletes in terms of understanding the complexities of post-concussion syndrome.
“I never felt a disconnect with the fans here, as Flyer fans are a special group,” Lindros said. “Paul Holmgren reaching out to me in early-2011, we talked through a bunch of things. He mentioned the outdoor game and pieces fell together.”
Lindros said he really enjoyed these past several days here meeting with friends.
“You live here so long, you make friends,” he said. “It’s good to see people and cruise around the rink and see people who helped out at the Spectrum and then CoreStates Center. People you want to say hi to.”
Friday night, they said hi back to Lindros in a big way.