I found it kind of interesting that in the middle of the Flyers-Devils series I would see the X Files episode about the infamous “Jersey Devil.”
(Speaking of which, how inept were that shows’ producers if they thought that Vancouver could double for Atlantic City?)
Anyway, seeing that, coupled with my brother’s accounts of a recent Montreal visit, got me to thinking about urban legends in the sport we all love.
While in Montreal, my sibling got caught up in conversation with a very attractive female bartender who really knew her hockey. She told him two things that stuck with him:
Patrick Roy’s trade to the Colorado Avalanche was not only the result of his infamous tirade at Mario Tremblay, but also his wife’s long-rumored and not-so-secret infidelity. Evidently Mrs. Roy had taken most of Patrick’s teammates into their bedchamber, and this was about to become public knowledge.
Chris Chelios’ trade to the Chicago Blackhawks was expedited by the Habs because of his affinity for nose candy. This bartender said it was nothing new for Chelios to sit down and do line after line of cocaine ON THE BAR in full view and not give a damn because hey, he’s Chris Chelios.
Now, being a Flyers fan, I began to think back on some of the “non-happenings” here in Philadelphia. It’s funny, but they mostly involve Eric Lindros:
Lindros’ fifth (?) concussion was supposed to have been caused by a “collision” in practice with the Phantoms’ Francis Lessard. However, former teammates and team employees say that Lessard decked the E-train as retribution – evidently Lindros had a “more than casual” relationship with Mrs. Rod Brind’Amour.
Lindros was also rumored to have been scratched from games because he was still drunk from the night before, and that he was dating the sister of reputed Philly mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino.
Probably the most infamous Flyers urban legend also involves the ’98 Olympics in Nagano.
(You know – when Chelios, Keith Tkachuk, and Brett Hull went apeshit on their hotel rooms? Oh, right. That didn’t happen. I’m telling you, it all started with Chelios yelling, “You think you’re better than me?!” at his innocent barca lounger after a coke and Molson bender)
Anywho, Flyers GM Bob Clarke was also GM of the Canadian National team, and he selected Wayne Gretzky as the flagbearer for the team in the games’ opening ceremonies. Bonnie Lindros caught wind of this, and supposedly called Clarke, demanding that her son, and NOT the greatest hockey player the world has ever seen, carry the big red maple leaf.
Those are just a few examples, but what else “didn’t happen” out there? Keep in mind, they don’t all have to be about who’s sleeping with who (a seemingly recurrent theme of late), but let’s hear some really interesting stories.