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Wednesday, February 21, 2001
Updated: February 23, 12:21 PM ET
Leafs coach points finger at Flyers

By Brian A. Shactman

The Eric Lindros saga continues. Or is it over?

According to Toronto Maple Leafs coach and general manager Pat Quinn, it's a little of both.

At a Wednesday afternoon news conference, an unhappy Quinn publicly stated that a potential trade sending Lindros to the Leafs officially fell through.

"It looked like there was every reason to believe this was a done deal," said Quinn. "It was constantly a moving target, and every time we moved to their position, they moved again."

Pat Quinn
Pat Quinn, right, is starting to feel the heat in Toronto.

Quinn said he was prepared for a conference call to confirm the trade on Tuesday morning, but the Flyers changed what they wanted in the deal after Quinn assumed they had an agreement. Quinn would not say which players were involved, but it has been widely reported that some combination of Nik Antropov, Tomas Kaberle and Danny Markov -- along with a draft pick -- was involved.

"To me, I'm not very happy at how this transpired," said Quinn in reference to actual names becoming public, which he strongly hinted was the doing of Flyers GM Bob Clarke. "We operated at the request of them (Flyers) at the very beginning. I don't like the way the thing went down very much."

Quinn held the news conference -- which surprised the Flyers camp -- to clarify the order of events and to state clearly that he needs to move on and focus on his struggling team, which has plummeted to No. 7 in the East. Toronto is 6-9-6-1 since Jan. 1.

"We have to get back to work here," Quinn said. "Our approach is that the 22-23 guys we have, let's get back to work.

"Let's go ahead. We're going forward."

It doesn't make any difference to me. Look, this 'Poor Pat Quinn' scenario is a bunch of (expletive). All along, we went with the scenario we were going to operate under, and he's known that. I don't give a (expletive) about the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Flyers GM Bob Clarke

The Flyers disagreed with Quinn's assessment. When reached for comment, Clarke said that when Markov's medical report became available, the Flyers had doubts about his back injury, which has kept him out of the lineup all this month. That's when Clarke came back and mentioned Kaberle.

"They are going to give this guy (Lindros) $45 million, yet they want to give us two injured players for him (Antropov has a knee injury). That didn't make any sense to us," Clarke said.

"It doesn't make any difference to me," Clarke added. "Look, this 'Poor Pat Quinn' scenario is a bunch of (expletive). All along, we went with the scenario we were going to operate under, and he's known that. I don't give a (expletive) about the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"I hope it's over."

Quinn knows it might not be over and that with three weeks before the trade deadline, the Lindros rumors might not fade away. He's just not going to deal with it right now.

"To suggest that nothing could ever happen again is probably ridiculous, too," Quinn admitted.

For all of his candor, Quinn was careful when qualifying a lot of his statements. He said the deal is off "for right now" when responding to how permanent this most recent event is to any possible deal. Also, his assertion about the solidity of the deal did not address whether the Flyers were fully aware of Markov's injured back.

"On the seventh of February, they (Flyers) said this is a deal we will accept," said Quinn of the negotiations. "And that's the deal we made verbatim, almost. I wanted one little change to protect that first-round pick in 2002 for our entry draft here. So, that was the only adjustment to their written document."

But Feb. 7 was only one week into Markov's injury, and he had only missed two games, including a 7-1 home win over Atlanta.

Rob Parent and Al Morganti contributed to this report.