This is where the tranquility ends. Eric Lindros apologizes for the mess as he walks past the three baby car seats at the door and pushes a child’s toy out of the way with his foot. Two nannies are tending to nine-week-old twins, Ryan Paul and Sophie Rose. Lindros’ wife, Kina, rounds out the 1-on-1 defense, running everywhere and seemingly doing everything. Resident handyman Vern is omnipresent, taking massive doors off frames and providing the man of the house a little relief from his Honey-Do List. Oblivious to all the commotion is George, a Hungarian waterfowl-hunting dog who is scared to death of ducks. He’s licking the face of little Carl Pierre, who’s displaying the kind of behavior typical of a 17-month-old child – perfectly content and squealing with joy one moment, inquisitive the next, then agitated and impatient, and eventually in full meltdown mode.
Lindros has just returned from his weekly pickup game at the Toronto arena that first displayed his greatness more than a quarter century ago. It was decrepit back in the 1980s, and not much has changed. “We have a real good skate every Thursday morning,” Lindros says. “I had a good line this morning: Rob DiMaio and ‘Kipper’ (broadcaster and former NHLer Nick Kypreos).”
Perhaps that has something to do with the fact Lindros lives in the knowledge that he was right all along and those in hockey who viewed him as a petulant, selfish and spoiled superstar owe him a big apology. The trail he blazed on players’ rights and concussion awareness that earned him so much derision during his career have become standard procedure for today’s player. There is no difference between what Nathan McKinnon and Max Domi did orchestrating their destinations as junior players than what Lindros did almost 27 years ago when he refused to report to Sault Ste. Marie and ended up in Oshawa. NHL players can thank the likes of Lindros for the no-trade clauses that are standard today. And those who look out for their own health interests rather than keeping quiet and playing can take inspiration from the man who shut himself down and refused to play until he was healthy enough to do so, in spite of the avalanche of opinion against him at the time. “Listen, I wasn’t perfect, no one is perfect,” Lindros says. “But I do sit here and feel quite comfortable about my health going forward. I feel good. We’re going to be fine. Our (kids) are healthy, and we’re lucky. We’re just tired. We’re just tired.”
Yet another superstar we ran out of town because he was different. Now, he’s just like the rest of us… you know, minus the nanny, handyman, three luxury cars, weekly open skates with ex-professional hockey players, and questionable cranial integrity. Good read.