Lindros, Maple Leafs negotiating contract

Updated: August 11, 2005, 3:05 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

TORONTO -- Eric Lindros' dream of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs could be closer to coming true.

Eric Lindros
Lindros

Citing undisclosed sources, TSN of Canada reported Wednesday that Lindros is on the verge of signing a contract with the Maple Leafs, pending an MRI exam.

The Toronto Star reported on its Web site that talks might have hit a significant hurdle, however.

Signing Lindros would have a major impact against Toronto's salary cap than had been expected. The Star reported all money in a contract offer to Lindros must be guaranteed, making the signing of the center with a lengthy history of injuries a much riskier move.

Lindros reportedly had been offered a one-year, $1.5 million contract by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who removed themselves from the running for his services.

A native of London, Ontario, Lindros hoped to be traded to Toronto after a fallout with Philadelphia Flyers general manager Bob Clarke in 2000. After missing the entire 2000-01 season due to post-concussion syndrome and a contract dispute, Lindros instead was dealt to the New York Rangers in August 2001.

The most heralded prospect since Mario Lemieux, Lindros was drafted first overall by the Quebec Nordiques in 1991 but vowed not to play for the struggling franchise, forcing a blockbuster trade to Philadelphia in July 1992 that involved seven players and $15 million going to the Nordiques, including 2003 Hart Trophy winner Peter Forsberg.

Lindros himself won the Hart Trophy in 1995 but has not been the game-changing player envisioned by critics, partly because of numerous concussions and other injuries sustained due to his physical style of play. Lindros' younger brother Brett was forced into early retirement after just two seasons with the New York Islanders due to head injuries.

A six-time All-Star, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Lindros has scored 30 or more goals seven times during his 11-year career, including four 40-goal seasons. The 32-year-old enjoyed his best season in 1995-96, recording career highs of 47 goals, 68 assists and 115 points.

In 678 career games with the Flyers and Rangers, Lindros has 356 goals, 461 assists and 1,285 penalty minutes.

Information from SportsTicker was used in this report.