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This Day in Buffalo Sports History June 22, 1991 -- Lindros is No. 1

The start to the National Hockey League's Entry Draft is always a time for celebration. The team with the first pick takes a player, who is brought on to a stage. The player puts on the team's jersey, smiles a lot, and poses for pictures.

It didn't go quite that way when Eric Lindros went first to the Quebec Nordiques in the 1991 draft, which was held in Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo.

Lindros was considered the next big star in hockey circles, but there was some question about whether he'd be willing to sign with the Nordiques.

"Money is one thing; it isn't the only thing," Lindros said about his chances of joining Quebec.

Pat Falloon went second overall to the San Jose Sharks, and got a hearty cheer when he put on the Sharks' uniform. The Buffalo Sabres took defenseman Philippe Boucher.

The selection of Lindros led to a Stanley Cup, but not in an expected way. Lindros was traded to the Flyers for a boatload of talent that included Peter Forsberg. Quebec moved to Colorado and won a championship there.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at

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