TORONTO — The Big E finally got the call.
Passed over for six years, Eric Lindros got the votes required Monday from the Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee and will be part of the November induction class along with Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon in the players category and the late Pat Quinn in the builders category.
— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) June 27, 2016
“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these four hockey legends as Honoured Members,” Hockey Hall of Fame chairman John Davidson said in a statement. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
Lindros certainly is the headliner. The former Philadelphia Flyers superstar, whose concussions and other injuries limited his once-brilliant career, was, for the better part of a decade, one of the top two or three dominant players in the world. He won the Hart Trophy as NHL regular-season MVP in 1994-95 and led the Flyers to an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals in 1997.
“I was very fortunate to have coaches, teammates, billets and parents who supported me throughout my career.” said Lindros, who had 865 points in 760 career games. “It also takes a lot of luck to get to the NHL.”
Makarov was part of the famed K-L-M line for the former Soviet Union with Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov, who is already in the Hall of Fame. He was more than a point-a-game scorer for the Soviet national team, and he won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year with Calgary in 1991.
“For everyone who plays the game, this is the top place,” Makarov said. “It will be so nice to join all of those great players.”
Vachon, the former Los Angeles Kings netminder who was a three-time All-Star in the 1970s and still holds many of the club’s goaltending records today, was passed over for the Hall for decades. He won the Vezina Trophy and was part of two Stanley Cup winners in Montreal.
“I was very lucky to play for the Montreal Canadiens at the start of my career,” Vachon said. “My first shot on net was a breakaway by Gordie Howe. I stopped it and it kept me in the league for 16 more years.”
Quinn was a longtime NHL coach who died in November 2014 after a terrific career behind the bench in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton, reaching the Stanley Cup finals twice. He also coached Team Canada to the 2002 Olympic gold medal, ending Canada’s 50-year gold medal drought in men’s Olympic hockey.
He also coached Canada to victory in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
“Being recognized by Pat’s hockey peers is truly a great honor,” said his wife, Sandra Quinn. “I’m proud of Pat and what he accomplished.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.