On a recent Sunday morning Clarke sat in his office at the Flyers' practice rink in Voorhees, N.J., and said, "What I said this summer was nothing personal. It was just meant to challenge Eric. That's all." Asked if he thought Lindros was the sort to hold a grudge, Clarke quickly answered, "Oh, no. Not at all."
But when Philadelphia defenseman Eric Desjardins was asked the same question, he smirked and said, "I don't think Eric has forgotten what was said."
Added Brind' Amour, "I don't think Eric will ever forget it."
Brett says, "When it first happened, I told Eric, 'You know what? They've done everything they can do to you now. They've called your mom a bitch and called your dad everything. Now Clarke's abusing you.' I said, 'Why not just pack your bags? They've been putting a gun to your head forever. Just pack your bags, go to L.A. or New York or Colorado or wherever somebody wants you.' "
After Clarke's cutting remarks last summer Lindros rejected a five-year, $42 million offer from the Flyers. Instead, he made a handshake agreement on a one-year, $8.5 million deal for next season, which remains in effect only if the Flyers don't trade him. Otherwise, he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. "This gives us a chance to see what direction the team is going," says Carl.
"After what was said this summer I was pissed," says Eric. "You know, contract talks do funny things. Honestly, given that context, I don't give a s—-what Bob Clarke does. I know I have to win the Cup. I want to finish what I started here."
What if the Flyers win it all this season? Does Lindros believe people will say they were wrong about him? He laughs and says, "I'd love to, love to, love to win the Cup and find out."