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LeClair, Flyers will keep talking

The Philadelphia Flyers and left wing John LeClair will continue talking past a midnight Sunday deadline LeClair had set for reaching a multiyear contract agreement.

General manager Bob Clarke said Monday that he and LeClair's agent, Lewis Gross, agreed to continue negotiations.

Clarke said the Flyers have made an offer "that would rank John as one of the top five highest-paid players in the NHL." Clarke said the sides agreed on the contract's length (four years) but not amount. LeClair, who can be an unrestricted free agent next summer, makes $7-million this season.

LeClair said he did not want his deadline to stand in the way of an agreement. He previously said that if the deadline was not met, he would not negotiate with the Flyers again _ ever.

"I wanted to stay a Flyer, and I still do," he said.

BLUES: Defenseman Marc Bergevin will miss the next six weeks after breaking his right thumb in a fight with rookie Robert Starke on the first day of camp.

RANGERS: Back spasms forced backup goalie Kirk McLean out of practice. That is not a minor concern with Mike Richter likely out for at least the first two weeks of the regular season while recovering from knee surgery. "It's something we don't really need at this point," coach Ron Low said.

OILERS: Left wing Josh Green was expected to miss the season's first half after dislocating a shoulder during a scrimmage. Green will require surgery.