Ahead of the 1990 Memorial Cup, tension was higher than usual, and it all had to do with one kid. Eric Lindros was 17-years-old and played for the Oshawa Generals. Every hockey fan in Canada knew that he was a generational talent. TSN even televised the games, so the nation could get a look at Lindros, who already back then was certain to be picked as the Nr. 1 draft pick.
And at the time, Lindros showed what a physical monster he was. Former NHL referee Don Van Massenhoeven was reffing that year OHL’s Memorial Cup, and he once shared a great story of Lindros winning mentality and what a special kid he was.
” I remember a few things about the biggie. Not that hockey isn’t tough now, but back then, it was a lot less penalties called. In that era, it was: Let them play,” The former referee said.
” So Oshawa was down a goal, and Lindros was in front of the net. You could already tell that he was dominating the game. They’re down a goal, and Lindros is getting crosschecked and hit and whacked, and we don’t know each other at that point, but he turns to me, and he’s like,’ Hey Ref, come on! You gotta call a penalty. I’m the guy who’s gonna score.’ He didn’t say it arrogantly. He just meant that they were all over him.”
” I said to him:’ Kid, you take care of yourself. There’s a minute left in the game. You take care of yourself.'”
So what did Eric Lindros do? He showed some winning mentality.
” He just looked at me and went’ Okey’ Well, then bodies just started flying.”