Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Former Flyer LeClair among newest members of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

by Bob Herpen
The Phanatic Magazine

John LeClair, who dressed in Orange and Black from 1995 through 2004, was elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

The native of St. Albans, Vermont joined Tony Amonte, Tom Barrasso, Frank Zamboni and the 1998 Olympic women's team for enshrinement.

A product of the University of Vermont, LeClair was snagged by the Montreal Canadiens with the 33rd pick (second round) of the 1987 draft. He made his NHL debut during the 1990-91 season for the Habs, but never scored more than 19 goals over parts of five seasons with the team.

He did leave his mark on the Canadiens' 1993 Stanley Cup title squad, becoming the only player in NHL history to record back-to-back overtime winning goals during Games 3 and 4 of Montreal's five-game triumph over the Los Angeles Kings.

He's best known as a Flyer, however, coming to Philly on February 9, 1995 in a package deal along with Eric Desjardins and Gilbert Dionne for Mark Recchi.

Over the next five-plus seasons, LeClair recorded five years of 40-or-more goals, and three consecutive seasons of 50-or-more (260 in all) mostly as a key member of the "Legion of Doom" line along with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg.

LeClair's final four years with the Flyers were racked with injuries, and he was let go as a free agent and subsequently signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005.

His 333 goals with the Flyers ranks fifth on the franchise list and his 643 points is good enough for seventh. Along with Tim Kerr and Reggie Leach, LeClair is only the third man in club lore to score 50-or-more goals more than once.

Over 967 total regular-season games with three clubs, the 40-year-old compiled 406 goals and 819 points. He also tallied 42 goals and 89 points in 154 playoff contests.

On the international stage, LeClair was part of the U.S. 1996 World Cup of Hockey team and won a Silver medal at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

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