Eric Lindros is perhaps the most divisive hockey star of the NHL's modern era. Despite netting an impressive 865 points in an unfortunate injury-shortened career, the Canadian Hall of Famer maintains a rather controversial legacy. His excellent play was never an issue with fans, but stories of questionable off-ice behaviour have been a persistent topic of conversation. While Lindros himself has challenged these rumours, there is one character-staining day that remains totally indefensible.
Before Eric Lindros caused the NHL any sort of trouble, he was a much-hyped hockey prodigy with a laser shot and a menacing frame. In two seasons with the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals, Lindros was producing at a disgusting clip of 2.6 points per game. His insane goal scoring ability was augmented by intimidating physicality, all of which made Lindros a sure bet to go first overall in the 1991 NHL entry draft. His name was finally called on that fateful day by the lowly Quebec Nordiques, a struggling team with an abysmal record.
When Quebec selected Eric Lindros at the draft, the 18-year-old walked onto the stage and was promptly handed a Nordiques' sweater - something he refused to put on. Even more egregious, was that the NHL rookie made it clear he would not play for his draft team, instead demanding a trade to another franchise. It was a power move that forced Lindros to sit out the entire season, and quickly made him the NHL's biggest villain. After painstaking negotiations, he was eventually shipped off to the Philadelphia Flyers in a rare move that ended up benefiting both clubs.
Since that fateful day back in 1991, the name Eric Lindros has left a sour taste in the mouths of Nordiques fans everywhere. This, despite the fact that Quebec hasn't been home to an NHL team since 1995. The infamous trade demand has been a point of tension for 26 long years, so when Lindros visited his draft city this week and was asked to put on a Nordiques jersey for the first time, it was to everyone's surprise when he obliged.
The whole stunt occurred on a show called, Tout le monde en parle, and was in support of an upcoming documentary entitled, Eric Lindros revisité. The aforementioned piece will profile the entire saga, and will air on RDS in Quebec. In the meantime, you can read more about the Lindros legend here, via the NHL.