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Prospects Of Lindros Trade Bleak

The Philadelphia Flyers are determined to have a say where Eric Lindros plays.

Lindros, a restricted free agent who turned down an $8.5 million qualifying offer from the Flyers last summer, has said he wants to play only for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The star center might have to wait four years to get his wish.

"Most of us in the league feel the same way: Why the heck should Eric pick his team?" Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said Saturday in a radio interview between periods of Philadelphia's 4-1 victory at Florida.

"When he's 31 and an unrestricted free agent, he can do that - if that team wants him. To say at 27 years old, 'I'm only going to play in Toronto,' he might be sitting ... for four years."

On Thursday, Flyers chairman Ed Snider told Clarke to stop negotiating with Toronto, saying the Maple Leafs "offered us absolutely nothing for Eric."

Snider said another team had made an offer for Lindros far better than Toronto's. Clarke later denied reports that the Islanders were the unidentified team and Lindros refused to accept the trade.

"If anyone made us an offer that is acceptable, we'd take the offer and make the deal, but that hasn't happened," Clarke said in Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer. "Nobody has said that. Nobody has said to us, we'll give you this if you accept that. Nobody."

Lindros was cleared to resume playing 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 made it clear he will not return to the Flyers because of a contentious relationship with Clarke. It reached a point last season where the two men didn't speak for months.

The boiling point came after Lindros criticized the team's medical staff for failing to diagnose his second concussion of the season on March 4.

Clarke then stripped Lindros of his captaincy, and the star was ostracized from the team until he returned for Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against New Jersey.

Neither Lindros nor his father/agent Carl Lindros could be reached for comment.

Lindros came to Philadelphia in 1992 following a trade with Quebec that included six players, two first-round draft choices and $15 million.

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