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

NHL career

Leading up to the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, Alexandre 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 in order to guarantee the first overall selection and the right to draft him, which prompted an investigation by the league. When the expansion team finished last, it drafted Daigle over future NHL 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." Ironically, the Senators had drafted Alexei Yashin second overall in 1992. 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.

Daigle never measured up to his potential in the NHL. 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. Management continued to support 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 under-performance, an angered Yashin was a holdout in the 1995–96 season unless his contract was raised to a level similar to Daigle's. Coach Rick Bowness and assistant Alain Vigneault were fired in November 1995, after demoting Daigle to the fourth line. As late as 1997, Ottawa management still apparently considered him a cornerstone of the franchise's future, as they introduced an alternate logo which was widely acknowledged in Ottawa as being based upon and inspired by Daigle's countenance.

During the 1997–98 season, after four and a half seasons, 74 goals and 172 points in 301 games played, the Senators gave up on Daigle and traded him to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for prospect Vaclav Prospal and another first-round bust, Pat Falloon. Daigle played a total of 68 games with the Flyers, scoring just 31 points, before they gave up on him being a late bloomer. 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 this 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. In 1998, Daigle briefly dated actress Pamela Anderson. He played hockey in a small league in Los Angelesmarker with Cuba Gooding Jr. on Jerry Bruckheimer's team, the Bad Boys. He created an event promotion company, Impostor Entertainment, with former Montreal Expos pitcher Derek Aucoin. Their first project was a concert featuring Sheryl Crow during a Canadian Grand Prixmarker in Montreal.

Following a two-year absence from hockey, Daigle decided to give hockey another opportunity. In mid 2002, Daigle contacted numerous teams looking for an invitation to training camp, and ultimately signed 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 regular season, Daigle managed to match his career high point total, finishing the campaign with 51 points (20-31-51), leading 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, Daigle was waived by Minnesota and reassigned to its 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.

On May 5, 2006, Daigle signed a 2-year contract with Swiss top team HC Davos. He later signed a 2-year contract extension with the squad in December 2006.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1991–92 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL 66 35 75 110 63
1992–93 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL 53 45 92 137 85
1993–94 Ottawa Senators NHL 84 20 31 51 40
1994–95 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL 18 14 20 34 16
1994–95 Ottawa Senators NHL 47 16 21 37 14
1995–96 Ottawa Senators NHL 50 5 12 17 24
1996–97 Ottawa Senators NHL 82 26 25 51 33 7 0 0 0 2
1997–98 Ottawa Senators NHL 38 7 9 16 8
1997–98 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 37 9 17 26 6 5 0 2 2 0
1998–99 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 31 3 2 5 2
1998–99 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 32 6 6 12 2
1999–00 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 16 6 13 19 4
1999–00 New York Rangers NHL 58 8 18 26 23
2000–01 DNP
2001–02 DNP
2002–03 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 33 4 3 7 8
2002–03 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 40 9 29 38 18 4 0 1 1 0
2003–04 Minnesota Wild NHL 78 20 31 51 14
2005–06 Minnesota Wild NHL 46 5 23 28 12
2005–06 Manchester Monarchs AHL 16 6 8 14 4 7 4 7 11 6
2006–07 Davos Swiss 44 22 39 61 44
2007–08 Davos Swiss 45 13 30 43 59
2008–09 Davos Swiss 44 9 23 32 8
NHL totals 616 129 198 327 186 12 0 2 2 2




  1. Ottawa Sun - Top 10 draft-day busts

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