Jan 6, 2007, 11:48 PM EDT
It was the summer of 1992. After the Quebec Nordiques drafted "The Next One" Eric Lindros against his wishes (he had previously informed the team that he would never play for them), the NHL practically forced the now-defunct squad to deal him so that the eventual successor to the Lemieux/Gretzky throne wouldn’t have to sit out the entire year.
Although every NHL team with some prospects and a half-a-budget tried to come up with an enticing package to acquire the Ontario Hockey League star, the Philadelphia Flyers & New York Rangers both claimed to have struck a deal with Quebec in return for Lindros. Apparently, the Nordiques President Marcel Aubut, agreed to trade him to both teams the same day. This led to a situation eerily similar to the whole T.O./Iggles/Ravens arbitration case from ’04. Independent arbiter Larry Bertuzzi (the NHL player Todd’s uncle) eventually came to the conclusion that the Flyers had reached their deal first — a short 80 minutes before the Rangers. So the Flyers sent the aging goalie Ron Hextall, defensemen Steve Duchese & Kerry Huffman, centre (O-Pee-Chee style, bitch.) Mike Ricci and a cool $15 mil to Quebec for hockey royalty. A friggin’ bargain if you axe me.
Oh yeah, I think some fella name Pete Forsberg was in that deal, too. But anyways…
FINALLY! WE WON!
Within a month the entire town was wearing the orange "88" jersey. All we had to do now was sit back and wait patiently for Lord Eric to lead the Flyers to multiple Stanley Cups and a shitload of Hart trophies.
Now here we are 16 years later. No Stanley Cup. One Hart trophy. And the most concussed human being/biggest disappointment this town has ever seen is retiring. And I’ll be honest, I don’t even know what team he was playing for.
I used to actually think what would’ve happened if the Rangers ended up with Lindros and we woulda kept the core that wound up leading the "new" Nordiques to 2 Stanley Cups. Would those have been ours? Would Forsberg have ended up as iconic as in this town as Bobby Clarke (the player)?
But then I come to my senses and remember where I live. The Eric Lindros of sports towns.
(btw, after all these years, I’m still not sure if it’s pronounced Lind-rahss or Lind-rous. Too late now.)
P.S. Fuck Scott Stevens
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