The Flyers' long and complicated relationship with Eric Lindros finally might be reaching its end.
NHL sources said Sunday that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to work out a contract agreement with Lindros, a restricted free agent. And while sources disagreed over whether the Leafs had signed off on the package of players and draft picks the Flyers are seeking for Lindros' rights, it seemed unlikely Toronto would be trying to negotiate a contract with a player it didn't think it could obtain.
One Leafs source said it would be reasonable to assume the teams were near agreement, though a Flyers source said that wasn't necessarily so.
Sources also cautioned that the contract accord between the Leafs and the Lindros family might not be easy to obtain, and a Leafs source said earlier reports in Toronto about an agreement in principle between the team and the Lindros family on a five-year, $45 million-to-$50 million contract were wrong. The Leafs apparently seek a threshold of games played that Lindros has to reach for the full contract to be in effect.
Then, the long-awaited endgame to the Lindros drama took yet another turn early Sunday when Eric's brother Brett was injured in a snowmobiling accident near Parry Sound, Ontario, about 3 hours north of Toronto. Eric Lindros, reached on his cell phone, said he thought his brother, a former Islanders player, was going to be fine, but the driver of the snowmobile, whom news reports identified as 25-year-old Dan Cameron, was more seriously injured.
Eric said he was on his way to meet his father and agent, Carl, at a Toronto hospital where Brett, 25, had been transported. Carl Lindros later told the Canadian Press that Brett had "maybe a broken rib or two and some internal injuries." Lindros and Cameron were listed in fair condition.
Eric Lindros said the accident took his focus off his own situation.
"I haven't talked to (Toronto general manager and coach) Pat Quinn in quite some time," Eric Lindros said. "I don't know what's happening."
But a Leafs source, asked if the team was trying to work out a contract, said: "I don't think that's an inaccuracy . . . We're making progress."
Apparently, the Flyers are seeking one of two defensemen -- Danny Markov or Tomas Kaberle -- along with center Nik Antropov and a first- or second-round entry draft pick for the player they obtained in July 1992 for an unprecedented package of six players, two No. 1 picks and $15 million.