OT: Dumbest Move Ever by a GM
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03-01-2013, 04:03 PM
Marc the Habs Fan
Join Date: Nov 2002
Originally Posted by
Yes. If you look at the lists of all the rounds of every draft, you'll find an "Invalid Claim". -- That's Mel Bridgman mistake, I think the first year of Ottawa in the league.
I believe this is it:
The Ottawa Citizen
Fri Jun 19 1992
Byline: John MacKinnon
MONTREAL — Mel Bridgman shifted nervously onstage, leaned into the microphone and intoned sheepishly: ”Ottawa apologizes.”
The Senators’ general manager had just taken Todd Ewen, the Montreal Canadiens tough guy, as pick 33 in the expansion draft on Thursday.
Wrong, said Brian O’Neill, the NHL’s executive vice-president. Montreal already had lost the maximum two players — goaltender Frederic Chabot to Tampa and left-winger Sylvain Turgeon to the Senators.
None of the 17 people seated around the Senators’ table had crossed Chabot’s name off their list. So when the Senators chose Turgeon, nobody realized he was the final Montreal player who could be taken.
After the Ewen gaffe, Bridgman stepped off stage and slouched back to the draft table for further consultation.
A few minutes later, Bridgman headed back to select Mark Freer, a 23-year-old minor-leaguer from the Philadelphia Flyers.
At pick No. 40, the second-to-last forward Ottawa would pick, Bridgman went for Todd Hawkins of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Oops. Toronto had lost its maximum two players also.
Back to the table went Bridgman. More discussion. Then back to the podium.
”The Senators choose C.J. Young,” he said.
Wrong again. Young, who played for Team U.S.A. at the Albertville Olympics, wasn’t on the final list of available players.
More discussion. At one point, Bridgman, John Ferguson, Ottawa’s director of player personnel, and Senators CEO Randy Sexton all walked on stage to confer with O’Neill, Jim Gregory, the NHL’s vice-president of hockey operations, and Garry Lovegrove, of the league’s central player registry.
”This is not entirely Ottawa’s fault,” O’Neill said. ”Young’s name was on an earlier list, but it was reviewed and an exemption was discovered. His name did not appear on the final list.”
An embarrassed, weary Bridgman explained the mistake to a questioner.
”The list we had included Young’s name,” he said. ”Late this afternoon we were handed an envelope which contained a list on which his name did not appear. I never saw that list.”
Bridgman wasn’t the only one slightly baffled by the process of choosing the NHL’s castoffs.
Long after the draft was completed, Ferguson, talking with reporters, spoke favorably about the toughness of the Senators, with players like Mike Peluso and Ewen, the disqualified Senator.
If Ferguson was mildly oblivious, Bridgman was annoyed with himself.
”I guess I take things like that personally,” he said. ”I feel embarrassed.”
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