Eric Lindros, who is making $1.55 million US with the Leafs this year, is seeking more than $1 million in disputed bonus payments from the New York Rangers.
A grievance was heard yesterday in Toronto to try and iron out the case, which dates back to the 2003-04 season. In the contract language, Lindros was to make $80,000 for each "available game," up to 75 per year that he either played or missed for reasons other than concussion-related. That was unless the Rangers had been able to secure insurance that did not exempt a concussion-related injury. The bonus had a maximum of $6 million. Records from that year indicate he suffered a concussion from a Jason Doig hit against Washington on Jan. 28, 2004 and was cleared to resume workouts Feb. 24. After soreness was detected in his left shoulder a few days later,he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum on March 25.
There were 17 games left after Feb. 29, a potential $1.36 million worth of bonuses. The Rangers did not issue a statement on the grievance yesterday and Lindros was not available for comment.
DOWN GO THE D-MEN
With Vancouver Canucks' Ed Jovanovski out again with a groin injury and Scott Niedermayer of the Mighty Ducks suffering knee problems, there will be even more reason for Bryan McCabe of the Leafs to proceed cautiously with his return from a groin tear. Team Canada can ill afford two defencemen and one resrve (McCabe) shelved for the Turin Olympics.
"With this kind of injury, it's so crucial to your skating ability," Leafs/Canada coach Pat Quinn said yesterday. "You have to be very cautious. Bryan's one of our leaders and he wants to get back and help us, but we have to make sure that because of his desire, we don't risk a longer injury."
But Quinn indicated McCabe was "days" away from returning as opposed to "weeks".
KEEPING UP WITH THE HERD
Quinn paid tribute to the Buffalo Sabres' speed before last night's game, but disagreed with the theory that the Leafs are slow to a fault in the new NHL. "Buffalo has that sort of (quick) roster and try to tailor that to their game," Quinn said. "That seems to beg the (comment) that therefore we are not that quick. I don't find that's true."