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Thursday, October 27, 2011
Lindros, Clarke hope to move on

By Pierre LeBrun

Well we know Eric Lindros will play in the Winter Classic alumni game, but what about Wayne Gretzky?

The Great One told ESPN.com via text that he doesn’t think that will be the case.
Wayne Gretzky
To the chagrin of the fans, there's a better chance Wayne Gretzky will be swinging golf clubs than participating in the Winter Classic alumni game.

“No, I’ll be with my family for the holidays,’’ Gretzky said. “Plus, they don’t need to see a 50-year-old slow guy out there!’’

We beg to disagree on that one. No. 99’s appearance would be hugely popular with the fans Dec. 31 in the alumni game.

Now we’ll see how much lobbying comes from the New York Rangers. Surely, Gretzky’s old pal, Mark Messier, would try to entice him. Stay tuned.

Clarke, Lindros together again

Bob Clarke and Eric Lindros on the same ice? Who would have ever thought it, right?

Well that’s the plan right now for Dec. 31 in the Rangers-Flyers Winter Classic alumni game.

Lindros shared with ESPN.com on Wednesday his excitement at playing in the game and how happy he was that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren reached out to him.

We reached Clarke on Thursday and asked the former Flyers GM and star player about sharing the ice with Lindros.

“It’s no big deal to me,’’ Clarke told ESPN.com. “Not at all. Lindros was an MVP; he helped our club. That part I like. I didn’t like the parents involved; I didn’t like what they did, and once it started hurting our club, then I was offended by it. But as far as Eric playing hockey for us, he played hard for us and he played good for us. He deserves to be out there.’’

It may just be that enough time has passed for everyone involved to heal those wounds from what was a bitter divorce more than a decade ago.

“I hope so for his sake,’’ Clarke said of Lindros. “Because he left with so much bitterness and so much anger. And I guess I did, too. I was bitter and angry, too. But once he was gone, I moved on, I didn’t care after that. Let’s hope we’re all mature enough now, enough time has passed and everything has healed.’’

In an email to ESPN.com, Eric Lindros responded: "I've been excited since I received a phone call from Paul Holmgren inviting me to represent the Flyers and Flyer fans at the Alumni Game of the Winter Classic Weekend,” he said. “Old friends from Philly have been blowing up my phone ever since word got out. I can't wait to get back there, see them and play for the fans again. Looks to be a great event. It was very nice of Bob to say some of the things he has said, and I too look forward to catching up with him.

While a great deal of time has passed, my beliefs on the subject of my representation have not. I had great representatives looking out for my best interests and safety. They just happened to be my parents. In the past, I have not found it worth my time to discuss and publicize much of what went on. Maybe I should have. Maybe that was a mistake. But I still, to this day, don't see the point. With that said, everyone is welcome to their opinion. Reading what Bob said and knowing him, well, that's just Bob's way.

Time to move on with more important things. I am so excited to be heading back to Philly in January and more than likely before that. It’s going to be a great weekend. I will not have played in a game this big for almost 5 [years]. Pumped!"

Holmgren told ESPN.com on Wednesday that his plan was to reunite the famous LCB line of Reggie Leach, Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber.

“I guess just the three of us together again will be kind of neat,’’ Clarke said Thursday.

Clarke sounded a bit hesitant, and we asked him why.

“I don’t think nervous is the right word, but you hope the people don’t have high expectations, because even the younger guys [former Flyers] are old now, too,’’ Clarke said.

“But I guess the biggest thing will be the festivities. It certainly won’t be the [alumni] game.’’

Clarke has been skating the last few weeks.

“Not so much because of the [alumni] game, but it’s more for exercise because I’m getting fat,’’ laughed Clarke.

Bruins trade talks

The Stanley Cup champions are off to a so-so start, and their GM isn’t sitting on his hands.

Peter Chiarelli always has been an active force on the trade market, and that hasn’t changed early this season, especially with his team struggling somewhat out of the gates.

“I’m always working the phones, but I am a little more diligent these days,’’ Chiarelli told ESPN.com on Thursday.

Although Chiarelli wouldn’t say what specifically he was looking for, our guess is that it’s a forward to inject a little more life in his sputtering offense (ranked 20th in league before Thursday’s games).

And know this: Chiarelli isn’t limited by the cap this time around. He’s managed it so well in the past year that he has $3 million plus of cap room, and that’s with Marc Savard ($4 million) still counting against it. The point being that the Bruins can take on a bigger salary if they wish.