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Eric Lindros leads 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class

By The Sports Xchange
Eric Lindros leads 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class
Dallas Stars' Eric Lindros looks for the puck during the third period against the Vancouver Canucks at Vancouver's GM Place, November 6, 2006. The Canuck's won 2-1. (UPI Photo/Heinz Ruckemann) | License Photo

The sixth time was the charm for Eric Lindros, who headlines this year's Hockey Hall of Fame class.

Joining Lindros is Sergei Makarov and Rogie Vachon in the players category and the late Pat Quinn in the builders category.

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Lindros had come up short five previous times, but he finally got the call on Monday.

"I haven't stopped smiling," Lindros, 43, said in a conference call.

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Lindros won one Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 1995 and finished in the top-10 five times. He played in parts of 13 seasons, but because of concussions he played in 70 or more games just four times in a career spent with the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Dallas Stars.

Lindros had his detractors because he couldn't stay healthy, but there is no denying he revolutionized the power-forward position with a rare combination of size and skills for a player his size.

"I was very fortunate to have coaches, teammates, billets and parents who supported me throughout my career," Lindros said.

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He finished his career with 865 points and 372 goals in 760 games. His points-per-game average (1.14) is 19th-best in NHL history.

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Makarov had a nice NHL career scoring 134 goals and 250 assists in 424 regular-season games. He was even named Rookie of the Year at age 31.

But it was playing for the Russian National Team where Makarov left his mark.

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Teaming up with Vladimir Krutov and Igor Larionov, Makarov to form the famed KLM Line. The trio won Olympic gold in 1984 and 1988 after the heartbreak of losing to the United States' "Miracle On Ice" team at Lake Placid in 1980.

In 519 games in the Soviet Championship League, Makarov compiled 710 on 322 goals, 388 assists.

The selection of Vachon, a standout goalie for the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings, raised more than a few eyebrows.

Vachon retired in 1982 and had been overlooked since becoming eligible in 1985.

But in a career that spanned 16 seasons, Vachon compiled solid statistics.

In 795 regular season games, he won 355, lost 291, tied 127 and pitched 51 shutouts. In postseason play, he added another 23 wins, two by shutout, and 23 losses in 48 games.

He won a Vezina - along with Gump Worsley - and two Stanley Cup rings.

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The 70-year-old had one of the longest waits in Hall history.

Quinn will be most remembered for being behind the bench during the Flyers' record 35-game unbeaten streak. He coached for 15 seasons and led Philadelphia and the Vancouver Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1980 and 1994, respectively.

"Being recognized by Pat's hockey peers is truly a great honor," Quinn's wife, Sandra, said. "I'm proud of Pat and what he accomplished."

Quinn died in 2014 at 71.

The four will be inducted into the hall on Nov. 14 in Toronto.

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