I was browsing around on Wikipedia this evening before my baseball game, when I came across the entry on Eric Lindros. I’ve never been a big fan of the Big E, mainly because of the way he started his career. He was drafted by the lowly Quebec Nordiques in 1991, and had indicated, even before the draft, that he wouldn’t play for them. It was that arrogance that pissed me off — he’d never played a single NHL game, and already he’s decided that he’s too good to play for Quebec. He demanded to be traded, and he was — to the Philadelphia Flyers. The trade was unbelievable though: Lindros went to Philly, and here’s what went back to Quebec: Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a 1st round draft pick in ’93 (Jocelyn Thibault), a 1st round draft pick in ’94 (traded to Toronto in the Mats Sundin deal), and $15 million in cash. Three years later, the Nordiques moved to Colorado, traded Thibault to Montreal for a goalie by the name of Patrick Roy, and won the Stanley Cup (they won it all again in 2001, and have also won 8 division titles). Lindros went on to lead the Flyers to the Cup finals once in 1997, but they didn’t win it.
I found it quite ironic that Lindros refused to play for Quebec because they sucked so bad, and yet trading him away allowed Quebec to become a very strong team for many years. Lindros plays for the Leafs now (or at least he did last year, but hasn’t yet been resigned for next season), so I’m supposed to like him now, but first impressions stick with me for a long time. Having said that, I wouldn’t mind if the Leafs did resign him, as long as it isn’t for much money – $1.5 million tops.