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Lindros: Leafs or bust

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Posted: Saturday January 20, 2001 1:11 PM

  Eric Lindros Eric Lindros is prepared to sit out the rest of the season if necessary. David Leeds/Allsport

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Eric Lindros wants to play only for the Toronto Maple Leafs and would sit out the rest of the season if a trade cannot be made.

The Philadelphia Flyers have been trying to deal the restricted free agent as the March 13 trade deadline approaches.

"He is focused exclusively on the Leafs, and he realizes that a possible consequence of that is ... he would be sitting out for the rest of the season," Gordon Kirke, Lindros' Toronto lawyer, said Saturday. "He is aware of that, but he is optimistic that both teams, acting in their own self-interest, can do a deal by the trading deadline."

Lindros has refused to talk to any other team besides Toronto. The star center turned down an $8.5 million qualifying offer from the Flyers last summer.

So far, Maple Leafs general manager Pat Quinn has not come up with enough to get a trade worked out. The Leafs want protection in case Lindros, who has had six concussions, is unable to play.

The 27-year-old Lindros was cleared to play in November, nearly six months after a check by New Jersey's Scott Stevens left him with his sixth concussion in just over two years. He had just returned after a 2 1/2-month absence because of postconcussion syndrome.

But Lindros has said he will not return to the Flyers because of a contentious relationship with general manager Bob Clarke. Last season, the two did not speak for months.

After Lindros criticized the team's medical staff for failing to diagnose his second concussion of the season on March 4, Clarke stripped Lindros of his captaincy. He was ostracized from the team until he returned for Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against New Jersey.


 
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