What do you get when you take three towering forwards, each standing over 6 feet tall and weighing over 230 pounds, and put them on the same line? A line so massive it’s coined “the Legion of Doom,” and it was a mind-blowing match-up back in the 1990’s. This Philadelphia Flyers offensive line was a nightmare for the teams facing it. The strategy worked for a mere two and a half years, but it wreaked havoc while it lasted.
The Broad Street Bullies were ready for a change going into the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. After struggling for wins in the early part of the season, the Flyers traded Mark Recchi to Montreal. In return, they received John LeClair, Eric Dejardins and Gilbert Dionne. They combined LeClair with Eric Lindros and Mikael Renberg and what they got was pure brute strength and scoring action for nearly three years.
The team noticed the 6’3″ 225 pound LeClair from the previous season’s Stanley Cup Finals, where he scored the winning overtime goal in two consecutive games against the LA Kings. LeClair was placed as left winger on the line with Lindros and Renberg, but more for his ability to create room for the two of them. However, his scoring prowess was so great it also landed him a spot on the NHL’s first All-Star Team.
The season before the LOD line, Lindros showed an impressive 41 goals, 75 points and 147 penalty minutes for his massive size. The Flyer’s captain continued to dominate as part of the LOD and went on to tie for 1st place in NHL scoring and joined LeClair on the first All-Star Team.
Renberg set the Flyer’s rookie scoring record the year before being named to the LOD line but just missed out on the Calder Trophy. However, his success on the LOD line got him recognized with the Viking Award as top Swedish player in the NHL. Renberg’s ferocious forechecking and top-notch scoring skills completed this dangerous line.
This winning combination not only plowed down everyone, they carried the Flyers to their first playoffs since 1989. The 1995-96 season was their best, netting 121 goals and 134 assists. Their final season together, cut short by repeated injuries to Renberg, still gained 104 goals and 131 assists.
For a powerful look at what this line accomplished, check out the 1997 New Year’s Eve 8-0 shutout against the Vancouver Canucks. Later that season on February 6th, the Legion of Doom racked up a combined 16 points in a 9-5 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
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