Alexandre Daigle
Position Right wing
Shoots Left
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
200 lb (91 kg)
Teams Ottawa Senators
Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay Lightning
New York Rangers
Pittsburgh Penguins
Minnesota Wild
HC Davos
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born February 7 1975 (1975-02-07) (age 44),
Laval, QC, CAN
NHL Draft 1st overall, 1993
Ottawa Senators
Pro Career 1993 – present

Alexandre Daigle (born February 7, 1975) was a Canadian professional ice hockey player. Despite being drafted first overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Daigle never lived up to his potential, achieving a maximum of only 51 points in the regular season, well below expectations for a first overall pick playing in a forward position in the National Hockey League (NHL). The Ottawa Sun has listed him among the all time draft busts in NHL history.

Playing careerEdit

NHL careerEdit

Leading up to the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Daigle was considered a "can't miss" prospect and NHL superstar-in-waiting. The Senators were even accused of deliberately losing games late in the 1992–93 season, their first in the NHL, in order to guarantee the first overall selection and the right to draft him, which prompted an investigation by the league. When the Senators finished last in the league standings and thus secured the first overall pick, they drafted Daigle over future superstars Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya, who were picked second and fourth, respectively. Regarding his draft position, Daigle uttered the infamous comment, "I'm glad I got drafted first, because no one remembers number two". Leading up to the draft, the Quebec Nordiques, who were hosting the event, were reportedly so eager to draft the next French Canadian superstar that they were rumored to have offered names such as Owen Nolan, Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, and draft picks, but Ottawa management disregarded all offers. Daigle subsequently received the largest starting salary in league history (five-year, $12.25 million), which led to the introduction of a rookie salary cap a few years later.

However, Daigle never proved to be the superstar the Senators hoped he would be. He only scored 20 or more goals twice – in his rookie year and in 1996-97. He was frequently criticized for lack of effort and motivation, partially blamed on his lucrative and long-term contract. Rumors began circulating in Ottawa of late-night partying and possible drug use. He was interested in the limelight, appearing in a full-page ad dressed in a nurse's uniform.

Daigle was outplayed by Russian centre Alexei Yashin in every season that they were teammates in Ottawa. Both entered the league in the 1993–94 season and were promoted as future stars of the franchise, on the cover of the Senators' year book and media guide. Management, however, supported Daigle over Yashin, touting him over Yashin for the Calder Trophy (though Yashin ended up receiving a nomination instead of Daigle). After management continued to support Daigle despite his subpar performance, an angered Yashin held out in the 1995–96 season unless his contract was raised to a level similar to Daigle's. Head coach Rick Bowness and assistant coach Alain Vigneault were fired in November 1995, after demoting Daigle to the fourth line.

During the 1997–98 season, after four and a half seasons, 74 goals and 172 points in 301 games played, Ottawa traded Daigle to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for prospect Vaclav Prospal and another first-round bust, Pat Falloon. With the Flyers, Daigle scored 31 points in 68 games. In January 1999, the Flyers traded Daigle to the Edmonton Oilers, who later that same day traded him to Tampa Bay for Alexander Selivanov. Daigle played only 32 games for the Lightning, collecting six goals and six assists for 12 points. The New York Rangers then acquired Daigle as a reclamation project, sending cash to the Lightning, but they, too, realized the one-time junior superstar was not living up to expectations and waived him at the end of the season. In 58 games with the Rangers, Daigle recorded just 8 goals and 18 assists for 26 points.

Daigle was out of hockey by the age of 25. No one was willing to take a chance on him, and in fact, by his own admission said he had no desire to play the game anymore. In an interview on national television broadcaster Radio-Canada, Daigle said he never wanted to play hockey, but stuck to the game because of his talent. Instead, he became interested in the entertainment business and the opportunity to be a celebrity. He played hockey in a small league in Los Angeles with Cuba Gooding Jr. on Jerry Bruckheimer's team, the Bad Boys, and created an event promotion company, Impostor Entertainment, with former Montreal Expos pitcher Derek Aucoin. Their first project was a concert featuring Sheryl Crow during the Canadian Grand Prix Formula One auto race in Montreal.

Following a two-year absence from hockey, Daigle decided to give it another try. In mid-2002, he contacted numerous teams looking for an invitation to training camp, ultimately signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Daigle would lead the Penguins in pre-season scoring and had earned himself a spot on the Pittsburgh roster to start the season. Despite his impressive training camp, Daigle was unable to continue his success into the regular season, and spent the better part of the season with the team's AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. After being released by the Penguins, Daigle signed as a free agent with the Minnesota Wild in the offseason.

After arriving in Minnesota, Daigle impressed the Wild coaching staff enough to earn a roster spot for opening night. Over the course of the 2003–04 season, Daigle managed to match his career high point total, finishing the campaign with 51 points (20 goals and 31 assists) to lead the team in scoring. During this season, he was also the Wild's nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. On March 6, 2006, Minnesota waived Daigle and reassigned him to the team's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. Daigle did not play a game for the Aeros, and was subsequently loaned to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL on March 13, 2006, in exchange for forward Brendan Bernakevitch.

Post NHL-careerEdit

On May 5, 2006, Daigle signed a two-year contract with HC Davos, a top team in the Swiss National League A, and inked a two-year extension with them in December. During his three complete seasons playing in Davos, the team won the league championship on two occasions. In a little over three seasons with HC Davos, Daigle played 137 games, tallying 46 goals and 94 assists for 140 points (averaging a little over one point per game).

On October 26, 2009, Daigle was loaned to the SCL Tigers in exchange for Oliver Setzinger. Daigle played 25 games with the SCL Tigers in the 2009-10 season, with 7 goals and 17 assists for 24 points. Daigle ranked seventh on the team in points while playing in fewer than half as many games as the team's other top scorers.

On March 23, 2010, Daigle and HC Davos agreed to have his contract reduced from five years to three years, making him a free agent after the 2009-10 NLA season. He retired once it ended.

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92Victoriaville TigresQMJHL66357511063
1992–93Victoriaville TigresQMJHL53459213785
1993–94Ottawa SenatorsNHL8420315140
1994–95Victoriaville TigresQMJHL1814203416
1994–95Ottawa SenatorsNHL4716213714
1995–96Ottawa SenatorsNHL505121724
1996–97Ottawa SenatorsNHL822625513370002
1997–98Ottawa SenatorsNHL3879168
1997–98Philadelphia FlyersNHL3791726650220
1998–99Philadelphia FlyersNHL313252
1998–99Tampa Bay LightningNHL3266122
1999–00Hartford Wolf PackAHL16613194
1999–00New York RangersNHL588182623
2002–03Pittsburgh PenguinsNHL334378
2002–03Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PenguinsAHL40929381840110
2003–04Minnesota WildNHL7820315114
2005–06Minnesota WildNHL465232812
2005–06Manchester MonarchsAHL1668144747116
2009–10SCL TigersSwiss25717240
NHL totals 616 129 198 327 186 12 0 2 2 2


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Roman Hamrlík
1st overall pick in NHL Entry Draft
Succeeded by
Ed Jovanovski
Preceded by
Alexei Yashin
Ottawa Senators first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Radek Bonk

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