In an interview with The Hockey News, NHL great Eric Lindros admitted that the multiple concussions he sustained as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers changed the way he played the game.
“I certainly did not play as well during the latter stages of my career,” Lindros said. “I hated going through the middle. I had huge fears.
“It’s tough going from being so assertive – you never show any cracks – to having an ‘X’ on your back. Players who would have never spoken or taken liberties in the past, it was happening all the time. I had a fear of cutting through the middle. Absolutely.
“Could I still shoot and pass? I could still score, but it wasn’t the same game.”
Lindros suffered six concussions with the Flyers, the first in 1998 and No. 6 in 2000, courtesy of Scott Stevens in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final (his last game as a Flyer). Only 811 days separated the two events.
He went on to play five more seasons in the NHL after sitting out the 2000-01 season as a restricted free agent. He played three seasons for the New York Rangers following a trade out of Philadelphia. Following the 2004-05 full-season lockout, Lindros returned to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005-06 and the Dallas Stars in 2006-07. He finished his NHL career with 372 goals and 865 points in 760 games.