Legion of the Doomed

[Part One of a Three-Part Series]

Ten years ago, they seemed so indestructible. They were the prototypical line for the National Hockey League. Big and strong and virtually impossible to contain, they cycled the puck at will. It was on the broad shoulders of the Legion of Doom–Eric Lindros, John LeClair and Mikael Renberg–that the Philadelphia Flyers pinned their Stanley Cup dreams.

Fast-forward a decade ahead. The game and the league have changed dramatically. Small, fast defensemen (an endangered species in the NHL not very long ago) are in high demand while the 6-foot-3, 220 pound defenseman is questioned for his skating ability or, if a veteran, labeled a dinosaur. The Philadelphia Flyers are a shambles and the Legion of Doom is long gone.

In many ways, the rise and fall of the Legion of Doom parallels what has happened to the Philadelphia Flyers since the 1994 lockout. A decade ago, there were such high hopes and expectations for greatness. Today, there’s a lot of frustration and broken dreams.

Here’s a special three-part retrospective. Part I will look at the first season-and-a-half of the line’s existence, when everything seemed to be looking up for the young trio and for Philadelphia. Part II will look at the bittersweet final season-and-a-half of the Legion and the topsy-turvy direction the players’ careers went in after the Flyers’ were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. Part III will look at the line members today, as three injury-scarred veterans find themselves in unique circumstances in a game that many say has passed them by.

A New Hope

After a strong start to the 1993-94 season, the Flyers fell apart in the second half of the season and missed the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season. For the second straight year, Eric Lindros was lost for long stretches of the season, due to a knee injury in November and a separated shoulder in April. A defensively shaky team, when the Flyers lost Lindros’ offensive presence, the club fell apart.

Out of the rubble of another season gone awry, the Flyers found a new young star. Rookie Mikael Renberg’s 82 point campaign was the highest output produced by any rookie in team history and his 19.5% shooting percentage made him one of the most efficient rookie finishers in NHL history. What’s more he did so splitting time between left wing on a line with Lindros and Mark Recchi and right wing on units centered by Rod Brind’Amour and, early in the season, Slava Butsayev.

No matter whose line he played on, Renberg produced. His 38 goals were the most by any Swedish-born rookie in NHL history. There would not be another NHL rookie from any country to top 80 points until Alexander Ovechkin’s spectacular 2005-06 rookie season with the Washington Capitals.

“Renberg is just going to get better and better,” Lindros said to The Hockey News. “He’s a very honest player. Some players score a goal and think they’ve had a good night. Mikael isn’t satisfied with that. He expects himself to have a good shift every time out.” 

After their torrid start, the Flyers leveled off after Lindros went down. The losses began to mount and the team crashed and burned. Eventually, the veterans in the locker room turned against Simpson and there was much talk about players who weren’t pulling their weight. Renberg rose above the politicking and the finger pointing to continue to set a positive example.

As the stretch run approached and the Flyers playoff hopes faded, Philadelphia was desperate for wins. They needed to get hot in order to sneak into the playoffs. Simpson, who had lost control of the locker room, desperately tried any combination he could think of in order to salvage the season. 

Unfortunately, apart from Lindros, Renberg and Brind’Amour, most of the other Flyers had long since quit on the season. The team won but three times during Renberg’s streak. By the time Lindros was lost for the remainder of the season after separating his shoulder in Winnipeg on 4 April, the Flyers playoff hopes were dead.

The Flyers’ late-season collapse cost Simpson and GM Russ Farwell their jobs. Now, there were two new bosses: Coach Terry Murray and General Manager Bob Clarke who was back for his third stint in the Flyers front office, and second in the GM post.

There was also the looming threat of a work stoppage. The current NHL collective bargaining agreement was set to expire and Players’ Association and the NHL were at an impasse over several key issues.

The Flyers had an up-and-down 1994 preseason. Murray was unhappy with the defensive commitment of several players on the team and dissatisfied with the personnel on the blueline and in the crease. Clarke addressed the goaltending problem by trading Tommy Söderström to the New York Islanders for Ron Hextall.

In the meantime, Murray tried to figure out what he could do with his forwards. Impressed with Renberg, the second year pro was considered one the few “givens” in the lineup. The dilemma was whether to play him at left or right wing and whether to start him with Lindros or Brind’Amour. 

On September 30, 1994, the night before the Flyers opener, talks broke off between the union and the league. The start of the season was delayed two weeks and it was announced that the players were “locked out” of all NHL team-owned facilities.
Trying to stay in shape, the Flyers players organized player-only practices at the Hollydell Ice Rink in Sewell, New Jersey. Initially, almost all of the players showed up.

As it became clear that the lockout was not about to come to quick resolution, the number of attendees at the rink quickly dwindled. Renberg ultimate accepted an invitation to play for his former Swedish team, Luleå HF, until the end of the lockout. The 21-year-old Lindros enrolled in a college class, lived in a frat house with a few of his friends, at skated to stay in shape.

Upon settlement of the lockout, a 48-game regular season schedule was created. There would be no inter-conference play. Returning to the Flyers, the Philadelphia players pronounced themselves ready to attack the brisk-paced schedule. Unfortunately, the team came stumbling out of the gates with a 2-5-1 mark. 

Although the Flyers won their next game, Clarke and Murray decided major personnel changes needed to be made.  Shockwaves rippled through the hockey world when the Flyers announced that they traded superstar right winger Mark Recchi to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for steady young defenseman Eric Desjardins, underachieving left wing/center John LeClair and former rookie phenom Gilbert Dionne.

The Legion is Born

The trade with Montreal represented a huge gamble for the Flyers. Recchi was still young and was a proven 100-point per season player. While Desjardins was sorely needed on the Flyers blueline, no one knew what to expect from LeClair or Dionne.

LeClair was a hero during the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, but for all of his strength and booming shot, had never even reached the 20-goal mark in a season. Dionne, meanwhile, was a one-dimensional talent who was not scoring enough to keep his place in the lineup.

Murray decided to create a new first line. Moving Renberg from Rod Brind’Amour’s left wing, the Swedish sophomore was placed on Lindros’ right wing. Murray then placed LeClair on the line’s left wing. 

“I never expected John to score the way he did,” said Murray, now a Flyers assistant coach. “That was a great bonus. When I put that line together, I thought LeClair would help win the battles down low and create some room for Lindros and Renberg.”

The Flyers got a lot more than they bargained for. But it didn’t happen immediately.
In the first two games after the Recchi trade, the Flyers got shut out twice, including an ugly 3-0 blanking at the hands of the dreadful Ottawa Senators.

On 11 February, 1995, the Flyers dragged their last-place 3-7-1 record into the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Renberg had a mere one goal on the season, as did LeClair. Lindros was only doing modestly better with four goals and eight points.

Little did anyone suspect it at the time but the game in New Jersey turned out to be a major turning point for both the Flyers team and the three players on their top line.
Although they only connected for one goal — LeClair’s first as a Flyer — in this game, they began to exhibit remarkable chemistry. Shift after shift, they kept the Devils pinned deep in their own end. The Flyers won 3-1. 

The line looked equally strong in their next game, a 5-3 win over the Capitals. This time, Renberg earned the scoring honors. In the game after that, the top line exploded against Tampa Bay. LeClair tallied a hat trick and Renberg buried a pair of goals. The Flyers were starting to roll.

After LeClair tallied his second hat trick in a 7-0 Forum shellacking of Montreal, Flyers journeyman forward Jim Montgomery commented on the trio, saying they looked like “the Legion of Doom out there.”

Flyers announcer Gene Hart loved it. He began to call the Flyers new top line the Legion of Doom during his broadcasts. Soon, the nickname spread to the newspapers and to National Hockey broadcasts.

Although several other nicknames were floated about, including “Bob’s Big Boys,” the “Doom, Gloom and Zoom Line,” “the JEM [John, Eric, Mikael] Line” and even “The Crazy Apes,” Legion of Doom is the sobriquet that stuck. 

Whatever they were called, the LeClair-Lindros-Renberg combination appeared practically unstoppable. All three players were unselfish with the puck and had soft hands to go along with their strength down low. Each player seemed to know where the other two were at all times.

Once they caught the opponent in their deadly forechecking and cycling game, there was little the defense could do but take a penalty or ice the puck. Lindros presented a deadly combination of freight-train force and subtle finesse, with a sizeable mean streak. LeClair was almost impossible to take off the puck or move from in front of the net and also possessed a rocket of a slapshot. Renberg’s speed on the off-wing and willingness to cover up high when the defense pinched added yet another dimension to the L.O.D. assault. 

With Desjardins anchoring a suddenly improved blueline and Ron Hextall providing an upgrade over Tommy Söderström in goal, the Legion of Doom carried the attack. They did not let up for the rest of the season.

Beyond the top line, only Brind’Amour could be counted on for regular offensive contributions. But the L.O.D. was so dominant that it seldom mattered. The Flyers steadily climbed in the standings.

On April 20, 1995, Renberg scored a third period game winner against the New York Islanders, clinching the Flyers first playoff spot since the 1988-89 season. Two days later, LeClair followed up a Renberg stuff-in attempt to give the Flyers an overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils. The win clinched first place in the Atlantic Division.

“To win first place is a good accomplishment. I just wanted us to get into the playoffs,” Renberg said. “The way things started this year, I was worried about our chances. But I knew we had a good team. Our confidence is very strong right now. We want to win in the playoffs, too.”

After their second half collapse in 1993-94 and their horrible start in the lockout season of 1994-95, the Flyers sudden turnaround was amazing. At the forefront, of course, was the Legion of Doom.

Lindros, named the Hart Trophy winner, tied for the NHL scoring title with Jaromir Jagr. Renberg overcame his sluggish start and played consist, solid hockey on a nightly basis, finishing eighth in the NHL scoring race with 26 goals and 57 points in 47 contests.

The biggest surprise of all was LeClair, who blitzed his way to 26 goals and 54 points, one spot behind Renberg on the league charts.

Going into the playoffs, however, the Flyers still had plenty of critics. Lindros went down with a scary-looking eye injury in the final weekend of the season and would be lost for at least the first couple playoff games. 

As the Flyers braced for a first round playoff matchup against the erratic Buffalo Sabres, many critics claimed that Philly’s first place finish was a fluke of the shortened schedule and without Lindros, the team would be exposed as frauds in the playoffs.

Although the Sabres were inconsistent, they had the potential to be a dangerous opponent. Goaltender Dominik Hasek was the best in the league and the Sabres had a trio of standout forwards in Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, and Dale Hawerchuk.

The Flyers needed to be on their toes to avoid falling behind early in the series. Until Lindros could return, Renberg and LeClair were centered by recent acquisition Anatoli Semenov. In Game 1, the Flyers quickly trailed 2-0 before rallying to win the game 4-3 in overtime. The Flyers also took Game 2 at home. They lost Game 3 in Buffalo. 

Through the third game, neither Renberg nor LeClair had a goal in the series. Lindros returned for Game 4, which the Flyers won 4-2. The Flyers then dominated Game 5 to close out the series, as the Legion of Doom and Brind’Amour ran roughshod over the Sabres.

At one point in Game 5, Buffalo coach John Muckler called timeout in order to plead with his players not to be spectators while Lindros and his linemates did as they pleased.
The Flyers second round opponent was the New York Rangers. The Rangers, the defending Stanley Cup champions, slogged through a disappointing regular season before stunning top seeded Quebec in the first round of the playoffs. A long, tough series was predicted.

Instead, the Flyers swept the series behind a pair of OT wins in Philadelphia and two lopsided wins in Madison Square Garden. After garnering just a pair of assists in the Sabres series, Renberg led the attack against the Rangers. He scored a team-best seven points, including three goals.

In the last two games of the series, the outmuscled Rangers could no longer get out of their zone with any regularity and the L.O.D. forechecked them into oblivion. 
Suddenly, people were starting to believe. The Flyers were picked as the favorites to win the Eastern Conference Finals against the low scoring, neutral zone trapping New Jersey Devils.

However, the Devils bottled up the Flyers in the neutral zone and contained the Legion of Doom better than any opponent had to date. The L.O.D. was blanked as the Devils took a 4-1 Game 1 decision in front of a disappointed Spectrum crowd.  In Game 2, Renberg started to penetrate the Devils blueline to the outside but found that he could not drive the net or find an open man to pass to. While both Lindros and Renberg tallied goals in game two, the Devils controlled the tempo and won 5-2. The Flyers were now in dire straits, trailing the series 2-0 and heading back to New Jersey.

With the Flyers in desperate need of a hero, Renberg and Lindros stepped back to the forefront. Shut down early in Game 3, the L.O.D. slowly began to assert itself. In the third period of the game, the tempo of the game was in the Flyers favor, as the Devils fought to preserve a 2-0 lead. Suddenly, fluky goals by Kevin Dineen and Rod Brind’Amour forced overtime. The Legion took it from there.

Early in the overtime, Renberg created some room with his stickhandling, drawing two Devils toward him. He dropped passed the puck in the high slot right onto Lindros’ tape. A quick snap shot later, the Flyers had a 3-2 victory. 

Early in Game 4, Renberg was denied by a pair of spectacular saves by Brodeur. The third time was the charm. Renberg one-timed a Lindros feed top shelf to break a 1-1 deadlock. The Flyers led the rest of the way and went on to win 5-3. 

Murray made some changes before Game 5 in Philadelphia. LeClair had been largely ineffective in the series and was replaced by Brind’Amour for much of the fifth game. 
Although the Flyers were outplayed in the neutral zone, an early third period goal by Dineen knotted the game at 2-2. The next goal would probably decide the game and the series.

As regulation time ticked down into the final minute, Claude Lemieux, enjoying an outstanding playoff run that would eventually win him the Conn Smythe Trophy, blasted an unscreened side angle goal past Hextall from just over the blueline. 

It was one of the most painful goals against in Flyers history. After the game, a somber Renberg said softly, “This one hurts, man.”

The Legion of Doom reunited in Game 6. The Flyers took an early lead on a Jim Montgomery goal, but could not hold it. The Devils quickly roared back for the next two goals and soon controlled the game. LeClair and Lindros were thoroughly frustrated by this point, while Renberg was the lone member of the line able to carry the puck over the blueline.

But Renberg was no more successful than his linemates in finding an open lane to the net, at least not until the game was out of reach. Renberg scored late in the game to trim the Flyers deficit to 4-2 but the team got no closer. It was, of course, no consolation to Renberg that his final goal tied him with Dineen for the Flyers’ goal-scoring lead in the Conference Finals. 

After the game, Renberg sat gloomily in the Flyers locker room for an extended period of time. The winner of the Flyers’ 1995 Good Guy Award, presented by the local beat writers to the most accommodating player on the team, Renberg was at a loss for words after the game. That put him in the same boat as the rest of his teammates.

The pain of losing the series rendered the Flyers’ almost unable to speak. They had entered the Devils’ series with the supreme confidence of a young club that believed they were invincible. Numb, the players uttered a few words about how the Flyers had a good group of guys and could have won the series. Asked if he had yet given thought to next season, Mikael Renberg shook his head. Next season seemed so far away.

Great Expectations

The sting of the Flyers playoff loss was soon replaced by excitement for the future. A spirit of optimism and confidence pervaded the Flyers 1995-96 training camp. LeClair, a restricted free agent, reported to camp without a contract while his agent, Lewis Gross, hammered out a multi-year deal with Flyers’ General Manager Bobby Clarke. That deal, which even Clarke later admitted was well below LeClair’s market value, became a source of major contention in the upcoming years.

Meanwhile, the Flyers signed veterans Joel Otto and Kjell Samuelsson as free agents in order to help solidify the “defense first” approach that Murray preached. The signings also served to make the Flyers the biggest team in terms of size in the NHL. Second year player Patrik Juhlin had an above average training camp and seemed ready to provide the Flyers with a productive winger to play alongside Rod Brind’Amour.

Philadelphia finally assembled a good collection of role players and a promising blueline. The nucleus players, save one, were all healthy and locked up contractually for years to come. The one exception: Mikael Renberg.

One question that was often asked of Mikael during the summer of 1995 was when he would re-negotiate his contract with the Flyers. Despite his two excellent seasons, Renberg was still being paid like a fourth line player. The contract still had one year to run before Renberg was eligible for free agency.

Time and time again, Renberg replied that his agent, Don Meehan, planned to talk to the Flyers before the season. If need be, he was willing to honor his original contract and seek a new deal as a restricted free agent the next summer. 
Eventually, Renberg tired of answering questions about his contract. While the question was not off limits, Renberg made it clear that he preferred to discuss other subjects.

Renberg also found that his name was being mentioned in elite hockey company. During the 1995 offseason, Sweden’s Inside Hockey magazine ran a cover feature on who was the top Swede in the NHL: Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, or Renberg.
“I don’t think there’s any comparison,” said Renberg of the article. “Both of those guys can control a game by themselves. I’m just someone who fits in with my linemates.”

Renberg also claimed to dislike the hype around the Legion of Doom. “I don’t think we should have a special nickname or anything like that,” he said. “We’re just one line on a good team. We’ve had success but it wouldn’t be possible without all the other guys.”

Back in North America, Terry Murray, who rarely doles out idle compliments to his players, spoke enthusiastically about Renberg.

“If every player were like Mikael, coaching would be easy,” said Murray. “[Renberg's] a complete player. I have a lot of confidence in him defensively. On offense, one of the strengths he has is skating away from the puck, finding the seams, getting open. The defensemen have to back up to respect his speed. He skates laterally so well to buy time and when he finally makes a move, the defenseman might not adjust.”

As the Flyers prepared to begin the exhibition season, Renberg began to feel pain in his midsection. At first, he tried to practice through the discomfort. The pain worsened.

The player tried to rest for a few days. That didn’t work, either. Finally, he went to the doctor. The Flyers learned that Renberg discovered he had suffered an abdominal hernia and needed to undergo minor surgery to relieve the problem.  He missed the entire preseason but was cleared to play in the season opener in Montreal. 

In the meantime, Meehan and Clarke negotiated a new contract for the forward. Clarke set a deadline of opening night for a new contract to be resolved. Otherwise, he said, Renberg would have to wait until after the season.  The GM was bluffing. As the deadline passed, the two sides continued to negotiate. 

Renberg seemed a little rusty in the opener, but looking at the results, one would have never guessed the circumstances. The Flyers brutalized Montreal by a 7-1 count. 

Every member of the Legion of Doom tallied at least one goal and one assist, as did every member of Philadelphia’s second line comprised of Juhlin, Brind’Amour and Brent Fedyk.

The second line’s opening night splash proved to be an illusion. Juhlin and Fedyk both ended up in Murray’s doghouse and played their way out of the lineup. This set up a revolving door of linemates for Brind’Amour. The Legion of Doom, however, just kept on rolling and the Flyers got off to a torrid start in October. The goals and the assists piled up steadily for each member of the L.O.D.

On October 15, 1995 a new door opened in Renberg’s life. In a span of 24 hours, he signed a new four-year, $1.8 million deal and scored two goals and an assist in a 7-1 drumming of the Edmonton Oilers. Once again, every member of the line had a multi-point game.

“Money isn’t everything. But now my family has security,” Renberg said. “It’s a nice feeling.” Asked if it was even more gratifying to provide the team an immediate dividend on their investment, Renberg smiled and said, “Sure. I think something like that can create extra pressure on you if you let it. Now that’s already out of the way.”

Although the Flyers were winning, there were some bumps in the early season road. Hextall suffered a groin pull and was lost for a week. The Flyers failed their first test against a top opponent. After Renberg staked the Flyers to an early lead in Chicago and the lead grew to 3-0, the team collapsed in the face of loose defensive play and subpar goaltending from Dominic Roussel.

As November dawned, the Flyers met more serious adversity. The first game of the month, a home contest against the Florida Panthers, proved to be one of the season’s lowpoints.

The Flyers fell behind 2-0. Both goals were scored on plays while all three members of the L.O.D. were skating through extra long shifts and failed to backcheck on counterattacks.

Murray was furious. In his opinion, this was the third game in a row in which the three members of the L.O.D. got so caught up in trying to score goals that they neglected their defensive responsibilities. The Flyers coach decided corrective actions were needed immediately.

Murray benched Renberg and LeClair for the entire second period and put wingers Rob DiMaio and Shjon Podein with Lindros. After sitting out one more line rotation in the third period, Murray finally sent Renberg and LeClair back out with Lindros.

Reunited, the Legion played like a house afire. Shift after shift, they hit everything in site and kept the Panthers back on their heels. Nevertheless, goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck’s magnificent third-period performance enabled Florida to cling to a 2-1 lead and narrowly escaped with the win.

After the game, Renberg refused to second guess Murray’s decision to bench him.  “We deserved it,” Renberg said. “Nobody is above the team. I wasn’t helping the team.” 

LeClair was more tight-lipped, declining to comment on the situation. Asked if he thought the decision was unjustified, LeClair responded, “It’s not my place to say that. I’m a player, [Murray's] the coach.”

The Panthers debacle became a complete fiasco when it was subsequently learned that Lindros had suffered yet another a knee injury on his last shift of the game as the result of a lowbridge hit by Florida’s Jason Woolley. He missed the next seven games. 

During that time, the Flyers lost in Florida and were stomped by the Penguins in Pittsburgh. They also dropped both ends of a home-and-home set with the Devils.

Renberg and LeClair played with Anatoli Semenov as their center. Even without Lindros, Renberg kept rolling. He led the team in points during Lindros’ absence, tallying four goals and nine points. LeClair had five points, four of which were goals.
When the Flyers captain finally returned to the lineup on November 16, the L.O.D. celebrated with two Lindros goals and one for Renberg. The Flyers were back on course.

As the month closed, Mikael Renberg blasted a 100 mile-per-hour slapshot past Toronto’s Felix Potvin with less than 20 seconds left in regulation. The goal, his 15th of the season in 26 games, won the game for the Flyers.

In the next game, the L.O.D. ran roughshod over the Boston Bruins. Lindros freight-trained Bruins’ defenseman John Gruden early in the game, causing a stoppage of play as the Boston trainer tended to the player and a repair crew replaced a cracked pane of plexiglass behind the Boston net.

Later in the period, Renberg scored one of the nicest goals of his career. Skating hard on the backcheck, he stripped a Bruin of the puck near the Flyers goal line. Flyers defenseman Petr Svoboda corralled the loose puck and sent it ahead to Lindros. The counterattack was on.

Renberg, skating like a man possessed, swung around behind the Flyers net and sped up the right wing. Lindros, carrying up the left side, spotted Renberg as he drove through the right circle, heading for the net.

With all eyes focused on No. 88, Lindros feathered a perfect pass through the slot. Renberg received the puck in full stride and quickly tucked it into the open right side of the net. For the rest of the period, the Spectrum crowd was abuzz over how Renberg could make a defensive stop so deep in the Flyers end, catch up to the line rush in the neutral zone, skate past the Boston defenders, and finish the play just outside the Bruins crease. Renberg added his second tally later that night.

But shortly after the big game against the Bruins, Renberg once again began to feel pain in his abdominal area, yet continued to play. At first, few noticed that something was awry. But it soon became apparent that Renberg was having some sort of physical problem. He did not have his usual skating jump on a game-in and game-out basis.

Lindros and LeClair continued to rack up the points, but Renberg’s production began to slip. Renberg, who had been neck-and-neck with LeClair for second on the team’s point list, fell back to a point-per-game for the season. After the two-goal game in Boston, Renberg only scored three more goals the rest of December.

On New Year’s Eve 1995, Renberg was scratched from the lineup for the first time during the season. It was just the third game he had missed since joining the Flyers.

The official reason for the scratching was that Renberg had come down with the flu. That was only half true. While Renberg was feeling under the weather, the real reason why he missed the game against the Canucks was that the pain in his lower abdomen had worsened considerably during the previous game against Calgary. In what turned out to a miserable New Years’ Eve for everyone on the club, the Flyers blew a three-goal third period lead in Vancouver and settled for a tie.

As January rolled around, the Legion of Doom played inconsistently, and injuries on the Flyers’ blueline took their toll. The club played listless hockey one period, inspired the next.

In the final game before the break, the Flyers got off to a terrible start against a badly struggling Dallas Stars team. Things settled down as Renberg got Philly on the board, going top-shelf for his 23rd of the season (it would prove to be his final goal of the regular season). The Flyers went on to win 6-1.

Over the All-Star break, Lindros and LeClair joined teammates Eric Desjardins and Craig MacTavish (a special “Commissioner’s Selection”) on the Eastern Conference squad at the NHL All-Star Game. Renberg’s physical problems and December slump cost him an All-Star berth. Instead, the break gave him the opportunity to rest his injuries and stay home with his fiancée Stina Sundström, who was now five months pregnant.

As the second half of the season loomed, the Flyers looked forward to a big second half. While the team would more or less deliver on the ice, it wasn’t easy. Mikael Renberg would soon become the first member of the Legion to see his career permanently altered by injuries.



  1. The Legion of Doom 2.0? - Angus Certified - July 23, 2012

    [...] From Bill Meltzer’s Legion of Doom profile: “Whatever they were called, the LeClair-Lindros-Renberg combination appeared practically unstoppable. All three players were unselfish with the puck and had soft hands to go along with their strength down low. Each player seemed to know where the other two were at all times. Once they caught the opponent in their deadly forechecking and cycling game, there was little the defense could do but take a penalty or ice the puck. Lindros presented a deadly combination of freight-train force and subtle finesse, with a sizeable mean streak. LeClair was almost impossible to take off the puck or move from in front of the net and also possessed a rocket of a slap shot. Renberg’s speed on the off-wing and willingness to cover up high when the defense pinched added yet another dimension.” [...]