What will happen with big E

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What is the future of Eric Lindros? A week after Lindros was offered a five-year contract full of incentives that could bring it up to $50 million, there is no clear answer.

The Philadelphia Flyers' general manager Bob Clarke expressed optimism Tuesday after a 30-minute phone call with Carl Lindros, Eric's father and agent, and Gordon Kirke, Lindros' family attorney.

"Carl asked if some of the bonuses could be changed or weighted differently, but nothing was rejected," Clarke said. "I came away comfortable that we can get something done. I'll speak with Carl (today) after I fax to them the clarifications they've requested."

Kirke said that Lindros doesn't have a problem with the length of the contract, even though a five-year deal would make Lindros easier to trade should the Flyers choose to part with him.

"They weren't talks in the sense of negotiations," Kirke said. "We're just trying to get a better understanding of the essence of the proposal and the philosophy behind it."

The Flyers' latest offer comes at a time when Lindros is about to start the last season of his current contract, making $8.5 million. Lindros has said he wants to remain a Flyer, but recently Clarke challenged Lindros publicly, saying he has to step up if he wants to be the highest paid player on the NHL.

Clarke has set the start of the Flyers training camp, Sept. 11, the deadline to reach an agreement or he might trade Lindros. The Lindros camp will not hurry through the process.

"If we can't do it by Sept. 11, we'll just wait and do it at the end of the season," Kirke said. "To rush to avoid threats or to avoid anything doesn't make sense. We want a deal that makes sense, for Eric to remain a Flyer."

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