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Nordiques near deal to trade holdout Lindros


MONTREAL -- Eric Lindros, who refused to join the Quebec Nordiques after they chose him first overall in the 1991 entry draft, may be traded today, with Philadelphia, Toronto or Detroit possible destinations.

"It's just a question of a player or a pick away [from] completing a deal," Nordiques general manager Pierre Page said. He would not identify the team.

Lindros, 19, who is 6 feet 4 and 225 pounds, is considered the best player available to the NHL since Mario Lemieux arrived in Pittsburgh in 1984. Lindros did not join Quebec last year, saying he did not want to play with a team that he said was run incompetently. The Nordiques are 48-159-33 during the past three seasons.

"It's not money," he has said. "It has nothing to do with the people, with the culture. I want to be in an organization that wants to win."

Sources say Page's asking price is high and includes a share of gate receipts.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Bryan Murray is believed to have met with Page recently. Murray would not include center Sergei Fedorov, whom Page insisted on, in his offer.

The Philadelphia Flyers are said to have offered a package including center Mike Ricci, defenseman Steve Duchesne, goalie Ron Hextall, two first-round picks (Nos. 7 and 15 overall in tomorrow's entry draft) and cash. But Page reportedly wants center Rod Brind'Amour, not Ricci, and picks in the 1993 draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are believed to have offered as much as $20 million plus draft picks and players, including goalie Felix Potvin and defenseman Dave Ellett and possibly left wing Wendel Clark.

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