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Lindros On Restricted Free Agent List

A technicality in the signing of a one-year contract extension for Philadelphia Flyers captain Eric Lindros has resulted in him being listed by the NHL as a restricted free agent.

Lindros, represented by his father Carl, agreed in December to a contract extension that increased his salary for the 1997-98 season and would pay him $8.5 million for 1998-99. Lindros has already been paid under that contract, so team owner Ed Snider is considering it a binding contract.

But ongoing revisions to the contract's wording that have remained in limbo since the agreement have kept both the Flyers and the Lindroses from signing.

Those revisions include activities from which Lindros is prohibited by the team, such as motorcycle riding and water skiing.

The latest revisions were drafted by the Flyers and sent to the Lindroses on June 5.

"Eric is on the restricted free agent list because his contract has never been filed with the league, and he'll stay on that list until it's filed," Phil Weinberg, the attorney for the Flyers, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We've signed it a couple of times and we're waiting for their signatures."

The Flyers are hoping the deal will be signed as early as Monday. At the latest, according to attorneys for both sides, the extension should be signed by July 1, when the free agent signing period begins.

A restricted free agent can be signed to an offer sheet by another team. His original team then can match the offer or accept five first-round draft picks from the signing team instead.

There is uncertainty around the NHL about whether the Flyers can sign Lindros to another long-term contract after next season. The delays in signing the current extension have heightened the speculation.

Snider said the team is determined to try.

"The bottom line for me is we want to sign Eric Lindros to a long-term deal," he said. "Whether we can do that remains to be seen."

Still in question is what would happen if nothing has been signed by July 1. If another team pounced on the technicality and presented an offer sheet to Lindros in that scenario, the Flyers would stand their ground, Snider said.

Besides his belief that payments already made to Lindros under the extension constitute a valid contract, Snider said he would match any other offer.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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