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Clarke and Lindros team up for Winter Classic alumni game

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TSN.ca Staff
10/27/2011 9:37:53 PM
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It appears that one of hockey's most classic personal feuds will come to an end during this year's Winter Classic.

But not without both sides standing firm in their long time stances.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports on ESPN.com that Eric Lindros and Bobby Clarke will be teammates for the Dec. 31 Winter Classic alumni game between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers.

Lindros got the invite from current Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, and the former GM Clarke played down the fact that the two will be sharing the same ice.

"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."

With Clarke upstairs and Lindros dominating on the ice, the Flyers were one of the best teams in the NHL. Lindros captured a Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1994-95 and the Flyers made it to the Stanley Cup Final in 1997, losing to the Detroit Red Wings.

But things quickly soured between the two sides as Lindros' career started to derail because of repeated concussions. With his father Carl, serving as his agent, and his mother Bonnie, also believed to be involved in her son's career and negotiations, Lindros' parents questioned the Flyers medical staff in their diagnosis and assessment of Lindros' head injuries.

Clarke eventually ended their relationship, dealing Lindros to the Rangers.

"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," Clarke said. "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."

Lindros responded via email to ESPN.com and was excited about wearing a jersey where he enjoyed his greatest successes on the ice.

"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," Lindros said. "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."

Still, Lindros had no regrets for the way "team Lindros" handled themselves during that downswing of his career in Philly. 

"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 five [years]. Pumped!"

Teammates may be as far as the pair may go; Holmgren telling ESPN.com that he plans to unite Clarke with longtime teammates Reggie Leach and Bill Barber.

Eric Lindros (Photo: Robert Laberge /Allsport/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Robert Laberge /Allsport/Getty Images)
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