It was supposed to be a joyful celebration of the sport of hockey, but Saturday’s Winter Classic Alumni game was marred by former Flyer and Ranger Eric Lindros’s ninth career concussion.
It happened late in the third period. Lindros controlled the puck into the Rangers’ zone when his old Rangers teammate, Mark Messier, stopped short on his skates causing some ice shavings to collide with Lindros’s face. Lindros immediately fell to the ice and slid through the goalie’s crease, dislodging the net.
“I didn’t even touch him,” said the Rangers captain and NHL Hall of Famer. “We used to ice each other all the time in practice. It was our joke. Get well soon, Lindy.”
The air was sucked out of Citizens Bank Park as Lindros was helped off the ice by his former “Legion of Doom” linemate, John LeClair.
Lindros was brought into the Flyers’ locker room where a doctor performed vision tests, and later confirmed the concussion.
“Cantaloupe orangutan the space station Mir,” said a dazed Lindros as he was escorted into the back of a waiting ambulance. “Shabba dabba Mexican, GOALLLLLL!”
The NHL is investigating the incident and has warned the Flyers that any retaliation for their former captain in Monday’s Winter Classic will result in a multi-game suspension.