Hallmark Hockey Greats, 2000
During the holiday season of 2000 Hallmark continued its line of “Hockey Greats” Keepsake Ornaments. Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros was chosen to be this year’s tree decoration. At that time, Lindros was at the top of his game, and was one of the best players in the NHL. However, he was not established as one of the all-time greats of hockey. Perhaps Bobby Orr or Patrick Roy would have made a better choice of players, but that’s neither here nor there. Lindros was still a superstar.
Like prior releases, the back of the ornament box has a short biography about the featured player:
Playing his eighth season with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1999-2000, Eric Lindros continues to build on his impressive record. Ending the 1998-1999 season with a career total of 600 points, he had scored 30 or more points during six of his first seven seasons. He scored 70 points in 1994-1995,,tying for first in the NHL. A starter in three NHL All-Star Games, he was also captain of Team Canada at the 1998 Olympics.
When traded to the Flyers by the Quebec Nordiques in 1992, “E” promptly put the sport on notice – scoring his first NHL goal in his very first NHL game.
This series of ornaments honors a different outstanding hockey player each year.
Underneath this is a small photo of John “Collin” Francis, who sculpted the ornament. He also sculpted the Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe ornaments that were previous releases.
The fine print on the box states that this ornament is “for decorative purposes only” and “not for young children. This is most likely due to a potential choking hazard in the unlikely event that the ornament’s stick was to break off.
Likeness 1 out of 5
The face on this figure looks too happy and too young. Sure, Lindros was a young guy in 2000 – only 27 years of age. But this really does not look like Eric Lindros, between those bright eyes and that goofy, open-mouthed “happy to be here” smile. The sculptor of this piece also sculpted the Mario Lemieux (1998) and Gordie Howe (1999) ornaments – and he makes them all look too young. Maybe it’s a “Christmas ornament thing”, like everyone has to look all soft and glowy and cherubic. But still, Lindros looks like a six-foot-four ten year old, and I have a hard time with that.
Pose 5 out of 5
The pose, on the other hand is dead on – as Lindros is shown skating with his head down. Lindros had a bad tendency to skate – and get hit – while his head was down, leading to numerous concussions during his career.
Lindros was big, powerful player, and you really feel that here with this figure. Sure, Lindros got a lot of concussions during his career for skating with his head down – but a lot of those injuries were also because of his aggressive style of play. Big E was a dude you did not want to get hit by. This ornament does an impressive job of capturing the look and feel of Lindros lumbering down the ice, ready to make a play – or lay out an opponent.
Like last year’s Gordie Howe ornament, this Eric Lindros ornament will stand up on its own – and looks quite nice displayed that way. That’s a big plus in my book.
Detail 5 out of 5
As always, Hallmark gets props for details – from the technical details such as jersey striping, to the little things like gloss finish on the helmet and skates.
One improvement from the prior years is the sculpted detail for the hockey tape around the blade of the stick.
The big “88” on Lindros’ back is a bit off, though – the uniform number either needs to be distorted by wrinkles or be angled a bit so that they are parallel to his name on the back, in order to look “right”.
There are two small yet interesting details on this ornament. The first is the number “2000” written on the back heel of his right skate, noting the year of the ornament’s release. Secondly, a signature appears towards the top of Lindros’ stick. I believe it is the artist’s signature, as it kind of looks like “Collin” – the nickname of the sculptor.
The details on these Hallmark ornaments get better every year. The face, though is a bit of a letdown. But if you are the kind of person who wants to hang hockey players on their Christmas tree, then this Lindros ornament is definitely worth picking up.
Here are a few more photos of the Lindros ornament for your viewing pleasure.
Year of release: 1999
Original retail price: $15.95
Approximate Size: 4 1/2″” tall
Sculptor: John “Collin” Francis