During the early 90s, Eric Lindros was all but popular in the town of Quebec. He was chosen first overall in the 1991 draft, but he refused to play for the Nordiques, and after months of arguing, the Nordiques finally gave in to Lindros’ wish.
He was traded to the Flyers, but the Quebec Nordiques fans were furious. Although he didn’t play in the NHL during the 1991-92 season, he did play in the Canada Cup. And it just so happened to be in Quebec.
Wayne Gretzky was also, of course, a part of the roster, and he was clear to the coaching staff that he didn’t want to share a room with Lindros during the tournament.
In Wayne’s autobiography,” 99: Stories of the Game,” Gretzky says that Lindros was the last guy he wanted to hang out with in that particular city.
” I could see both sides of the argument. But I was also aware that Eric was getting bomb threats and that people were threaeting to shoot him–and now Mike wanted wanted me to share a room with him. I did not relish the prospect. I mean, I don’t even like driving fast. I owned a Ferrari and drove it in second gear–to this I’ve never had a speeding ticket,” Gretzky says.
Wayne talked to the coach, Mike Keenan, but he didn’t get the response he was hoping for.
” I told Mike,’ No way. Listen, I’ll talk to the media. I’ll calm people down. I’ll do everything I can to protect him, but I am not going to risk getting blown up.’ I think Mike thought i was kidding, and so he put us together anyway. I didn’t sleep a wink.”