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Alexandre Daigle (born February 7, 1975 in Laval, Quebec, Canada) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player. He was drafted first overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He is often listed among the all time draft busts in sports history.
Daigle was considered one of the most promising prospects of his generation. In junior hockey he had set new records and some writers compared him to Wayne Gretzky with the added bonus of a mean streak. The Ottawa Senators were even accused of deliberately losing late in the season to draft him, which prompted an investigation by the league. When the expansion team finished last, they drafted Daigle over future NHL superstars Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya who were picked second and fourth, respectively. He also 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.) Daigle also received the largest starting salary in league history (five-year, $12.25 million), which lead to the introduction of a rookie salary cap a few years later.
Daigle never measured up to his potential. He was frequently criticized for lack of effort and motivation, partially because of his lucrative and long-term contract, and he was outshone by Russian centre Alexei Yashin in every season that they were teammates. Ironically, management continued to support Daigle over Yashin, not only giving Daigle a large rookie salary but also touting him over Yashin for the Calder Trophy (though Yashin ending up receiving a nomination instead of Daigle). Due to management's continued support of Daigle despite his underperformance, an angered Yashin threatened to holdout in the 1995-96 season unless his contract was raised to a level similar to Daigle's. After several disappointing seasons, the fans and management in Ottawa turned against Daigle and he was traded.
He bounced around the league, playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the New York Rangers until quitting the league in 2000 to pursue a career in Hollywood. He returned to hockey for the 2002-03 season, signing with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He played for the Minnesota Wild, where he tied his career high in points (51) to lead the team in scoring in 2003-2004. During this season he was also 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 the 6th of March 2006, Daigle was waived by Minnesota and reassigned to their AHL affiliate Houston Aeros. Daigle did not play a game for the Aeros, and was subsequently loaned to the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL on the 13th of March 2006 in exchange for forward Brendan Bernakevitch.
On the 5th of May 2006, Daigle inked a two-year deal with Swiss top team HC Davos.
Daigle has signed a new 4-year-contract with Davos during the Spengler Cup in December 2006
Regular Season Season Team Lge 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 1995 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 1997-98 Ottawa/Philadelphia NHL 75 16 26 42 14 1998-99 Philadelphia/Tampa Bay NHL 63 9 8 17 8 1999-00 New York Rangers NHL 58 8 18 26 23 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 16 6 13 19 4 2002-03 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 33 4 3 7 8 WB/Scranton Penguins AHL 40 9 29 38 18 2003-04 Minnesota Wild NHL 78 20 31 51 14 2005-06 Minnesota Wild NHL 46 5 23 28 12 2006-07 HC Davos (SUI) NLA NHL Totals 616 129 198 327 190