One is loved by all Philadelphia Flyers fans and seen as the man who coached the team to their only two Stanley Cup victories. The other is a polarizing figure amongst fans, seen by many as an overhyped, overpaid let-down. With such sentiments, it should come as no surprise that late coach Fred Shero was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday, while former captain Eric Lindros was snubbed once again.
Nicknamed “The Fog” for his elusiveness towards the media following a game in 1971, Shero amassed a record of 308-151-95 while coaching the Flyers from 1971-1978. Most significantly, he led the Flyers to their only Stanley Cup victories in 1975 and 1976. The coach passed away in 1990 at the age of 65.
Shero was elected to the hall as a “builder”, an individual who is considered to be one the game’s true innovators or coaches. He was the first coach to analyze recordings of previous games, the first coach to utilize the morning practice, and the first coach to implement designated offensive and defensive systems.
It was under Shero that the Broad Street Bullies emerged and flourished as he believed he should let the players play as they chose. His team happened to enjoy fighting.
Notably absent from this year’s class is Lindros, who has now been snubbed four years in a row. A seven-time All-Star and former Hart Memorial Trophy winner, Lindros accrued 865 points over 760 games. Despite his numbers, Lindros’ career was marred with injury and controversy.
It is rumored that he was constantly at odds with former Flyers GM Bobby Clarke, causing Lindros to sit out the entirety of the 2000 season until he was traded to the New York Rangers. His frequent concussions made him a liability, ultimately hindering his performance and ending his career at the relatively young age of 34.
And so, Lindros will continue to wait. He was undoubtedly skillful, but it is likely that his off-ice antics from over a decade ago will continue to plague his Hall of Fame hopes for years to come. Shero, meanwhile, finally receives his much-deserved spot amongst the hockey greats.