TORONTO -- The Big E is once again in a Flyers uniform.
What do they say about time heals all things?
Not sure too many people ever thought Eric Lindros would wear that jersey again one day given his drawn-out divorce from the franchise more than a decade ago.
But he will indeed be donning the Philadelphia hockey jersey, a story that was first broken by Justin Johnson of The Hockey Writers on Oct. 17, come New Year’s Eve in the Winter Classic alumni game.
It goes to show that as time goes on, people tend to focus on the good things.
“Absolutely,” Lindros told ESPN.com Wednesday. “I was very happy to receive a phone call from Paul Holmgren, who invited me down to play. I said I would love to.”
Which, from Holmgren’s perspective, was a no-brainer.
“Eric had a tremendous career for the Flyers,” the Flyers' GM told ESPN.com Wednesday. “All the guys we’ve called to come back and play and have all been excited for the opportunity. We’re going to try to make it a great event. I’m looking forward to seeing Eric and a lot of these other guys. It’s going to be nice.”
Hearing the roar of the Philly crowd again as the former Flyers players hit the outdoor ice Dec. 31 at 1 p.m. ET will also be a renewed thrill for Lindros.
“The fans in Philly are great,” Lindros said. “They’re real supportive; they know the game and they’re passionate about it. … I played in four cities. Toronto is obviously right up there in terms of intensity, but Philly is there, too. That’s a great sports town.”
Which will be on display again come Winter Classic week with the NHL game, the alumni game and the AHL game all outdoors.
“The Flyers always do it up right,” Holmgren said. “There’s three games that the fans can come and watch. I think it’s going to be great.”
Lindros, meanwhile, is trying to get the band back together. His hope is that the Legion of Doom line will once again skate together in the Winter Classic alumni game.
“People are having a tough time getting ahold of him,” said Lindros, chuckling.
We have ESPN.com readers in Sweden, so there’s always the chance someone in Sweden might see this blog.
“Good, tell him to call me!” quipped Lindros.
Renberg does hockey commentary for Swedish state television SVT, and he’s apparently also in school. He’s a busy man.
“I did finally talk to Renberg, but I also had a hard time getting ahold of him,” said Holmgren. “Mikael is in school. I think he’s trying to get a degree in physical therapy, and he’s also doing some Swedish TV during the world juniors.”
The world juniors are in Edmonton and Calgary in 2012, and Renberg is hoping to fly to Philly for the alumni game Dec. 31, but Holmgren still has not heard back.
So whether the Legion of Doom is reunited remains a question mark.
“That’s the plan, though: to have Eric’s line back together, as well as Clarkey’s line with [Reggie] Leach and [Bill] Barber and other famous lines in Flyers history,” said Holmgren.
Lindros, meanwhile, has found life after hockey. The former NHLPA executive is involved with an educational tech company called ClevrU based out of Waterloo, Ontario.
“We have an intelligent mobile learning platform,” Lindros said of ClevrU. “Our platform is different than anything out there.”
Lindros said there is a test pilot going up in China and plans are to have one in Taiwan, as well.
“Once things get rolling, we’d like to get content to people in various countries that couldn’t otherwise afford it,” said Lindros.
But he’s still playing hockey, of course, skating twice a week, which doubles as preparation for the alumni game.
“We’re doing our best to shake the cobwebs off,” said Lindros.
“It should be a good time.”