Former Flyers captain Eric Lindros won't take part in the 2002 Olympics unless he first returns to the NHL, said Wayne Gretzky, the general manager of the Canadian Hockey Association.
Lindros, a restricted free agent, is sitting out the NHL season amid a feud with Philadelphia management after sustaining his sixth career concussion last May.
Though he was cleared to play by a neurologist four months ago, Lindros has refused to return to the Flyers, who failed to trade him at the March
13 deadline. Gretzky said it is possible the six-time All-Star will play for Team Canada at next month's World Championships.
"If Eric is healthy and can play, we'd love to sit down with him and talk about the World Championships," Gretzky said. "But he can't go from sitting in the stands for two years and play in the Olympics. He can't do that without playing in the NHL. I don't think anyone can."
Gordon Kirke, Lindros' Toronto-based attorney, said his client wants to play in the World Championships and that Lindros expects to meet with Gretzky to discuss that possibility.
Kirke said the 28-year-old Lindros, who turned down an $8.5-million qualifying offer from the Flyers last summer, wouldn't press Gretzky to allow him to play in the Olympics.
"If the league or Team Canada doesn't want him in the Olympics, he will abide by it," Kirke said.
NHL, USOC reach
NEW YORK _ The NHL and the U.S. Olympic Committee agreed on a potential resolution of their disagreement about drug testing for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, said NHL Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly and USOC acting Chief Executive Scott Blackmun.
The league and USOC plan to issue a release on the agreement as early as today, Daly and Blackmun said.
Two Stars headed
ST. PAUL, Minn. _ Stars forwards Brett Hull and Mike Modano will be representing Team USA again in the 2002 Winter Olympics, the Dallas Morning News reported.
The players have been contacted by U.S. coach Herb Brooks and notified that they'll be in the first wave of announcements. Eight to 12 players will be named within the next two weeks.