Originally posted on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 12/30/11

Along the third base line at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, Eric Lindros held court with reporters, taking questions on the upcoming Winter Classic Alumni game.

Despite being told the former Flyer only had time for 2 more questions, Lindros continued to speak with the media, answering questions and reminiscing about the upcoming game and his time in Philadelphia.

It's not often that athletes can rehab their image in Philadelphia with the fans. Donovan McNabb will likely always be remembered for throwing up in the Super Bowl. Allen Iverson's "practice" sound bite will forever be played on local radio waves.

But by lacing up again in front of Flyers fans, Lindros is going a long way in changing what was a damaged image when he left the Flyers in 2000.

Since his arrival in Philadelphia, he has signed autographs, spent time in local hospitals, and even gotten along with the media. And if he can be the player he was on Friday at the Skate Zone during the alumni practice, he will likely be a big reason the Flyers beat the Rangers.

Lindros looked fast, was great with the puck, and was the best player on his line during the practice. The chemistry between he and John LeClair was still there, as the two had a few nice chances on the attack.

"The best part has been being back in the dressing room, back around the guys I played with," said Lindros. "Catching up with Chris Terian, Rick Tocchet. It's been great."

When asked about the bad departure he had, Lindros did not take the bait, simply saying he was happy to get the chance to play in the game. Passing up a chance to take a shot at Bobby Clarke- who he will play with on Saturday- and the Flyers organization is just another way that Lindros has helped his image this time around.

Say what you want about Lindros during his first time around- never delivered a Stanley Cup, acted childish at times, let his parents be involved to much. But the fact is when you look at the last 20 years of Flyers hockey, Lindros is one of if not the biggest name this team has had in his prime. Their is no question that his actions off the ice ruined the relationship between himself, the orgainization and the fans. It is a sad truth, but it is a truth that all of the great memories he created on the ice are in many ways forever tranished in the eyes of the fans.

Which is what makes what is happening over the past few days and will continue into tomorrow so amazing. Fans are reconnecting with 88, and the bridge that was once burned is coming back together. Score a goal in a Flyers win on Saturday, and it's safe to say that bridge will be back, and maybe stronger then ever. How often does that happen in Philadelphia sports? Not often.

After the Flyers finished practice, Lindros was approached by a young kid who made his way back into the locker room. As Lindros signed the kid's hat, he asked him about school and made small talk.

Lindros smiled and high fived the kid as he walked away, another fan won over.

Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks

 

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