Today in Philly Sports History: Four for LeClair, 1998


Coming over in a trade with the Canadiens for Mark Recchi in 1995, John LeClair quickly helped soften the blow of losing the regular 100-point scorer. Quickly finding chemistry with linemates Mikael Renberg and Eric Lindros--collectively known as the Legion of Doom--LeClair had three consecutive fifty-goal seasons in the second half of the decade, becoming the first American-born player in league history to accomplish the feat. Perhaps LeClair's greatest individual game as a Flyer came on November 29th, 1998, when John scored a hat trick and then some against the Vancouver Canucks.

LeClair had scored once already going into the third period, where the Flyboys trailed the Canucks by a score of 2-1. Then Johnny went nuts, tying a franchise record by scoring three goals in the same period. Keith Jones and Chris Gratton poured in a goal each themselves, and the Flyers went on to win the game by a decisive 6-2 margin. Fellow legionnaire Eric Lindros had a fairly impressive four assists to his credit during the game as well.

LeClair spent five more seasons as a Flyer after that one, before being bought out by the team in 2005 and signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins for his final two seasons. John ended his tenure in Philadelphia with 333 career goals, good for the top ten in all-time franchise history.

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