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Alexandre Daigle – Chosen One: Alexandre Daigle

After all the media interrogation during your NHL career, how was it being in front of a camera again here?

I had a lot of apprehension doing it, because in my little brain of an 18- or 19-year-old man, I thought all those years were negative, and I didn’t want to relive it. That’s why when I was watching the clips that they put together in a couple of those [filming] sessions in New York, I was sweating it out — but eventually I started owning it. I’m like, “You’re 48. Let it go.” [Laughs] It was like therapy, in a sense. It’s not that bad . . . You read the headlines: “Biggest bust ever!” No, not at all. So you start getting your mojo back. I was not Mario [Lemieux], I get that. But I still played, and I played for a long time — and it was still a good time.

You mention Mario. That happens a lot with prospects: they’re compared to legends before they play a single pro game, and suddenly the baseline for success becomes “all-time great” . . .

And, to be fair, if you look at all the stars that were aligned during that draft — new franchise, bilingual city, and a young kid coming out who’s got a great smile and a great personality . . . “It’s great for the franchise. It’s a no-brainer.” They didn’t even look at other guys who were better than me [in the same draft]. They created that hype themselves as well — the team and everybody around — because they wanted to sell season tickets. There was a lot involved. So, the “baseline” became Mario. That’s a tough baseline, man! [Laughs]

Chosen One: Alexandre Daigle, streaming on Prime Video. Pictured: Alexandre Daigle.
John Giamundo/Getty Images

Has the situation changed for young players today, in terms of support on the ice, and things like mental health resources that you didn’t have access to?

It’s better now, because they know the investment they’re making in the player. But I still feel that starting at 18, even today, maybe one or two guys per draft can do it at a high level . . . If you’re going to give a lot of money to a kid, you might as well put a lot of resources around him, to help him be the best. Bringing veterans in to take care of the kid is one of the things . . . But the best example is [Sidney] Crosby — [Pittsburgh] did it to a tee. Mario was still around the team, he was the owner, and he brought Crosby in [to live in his house]. That is exactly the blueprint you should use if you’re going to bring a kid up at 18 . . . And now, a lot of guys are getting into [the Player Assistance Program]. They don’t tell you what it is — if it’s alcohol or [something else] — but one guy came out and said it was anxiety. Well, that’s going to affect your game, right? You have the resources, and now you’re not judged — which is amazing. Because, for me, I stopped two years in the middle of my career — not because I didn’t like hockey. I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t have any help . . . I came back after I was refreshed and I think I played more years after than before. So, ask for help; there’s no shame now. Thirty years ago? You’re a nutcase.

What was the most memorable or affecting part of making this film?

My dad became ill, and he died six months after the shoot. He had brain cancer . . . We’d never really talked about my career, and about how he felt. I was his son, and everything bad that happened to me, in a sense, happened to him. He was very sad for a lot of years. So, we talked about it [in the doc], and it was great. He said he was very proud of me. That was, I would say, the best thing.

Chosen One: Alexandre Daigle, streaming on Prime Video


Born in Laval, Quebec, Alexandre Daigle was tagged as a hockey prodigy from childhood. At 18, he went No. 1 in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft and was anointed the face of the Ottawa Senators — an organization that was founded just a year earlier, and still anything but organized. Though he showed flashes of brilliance as a pro, the young centre was plagued by injuries, intense media scrutiny and the weight of expectations, ultimately earning a legacy as one of the sport’s most notorious busts.


Now, a new documentary film reflects on the former Chosen One’s career, offering insights from Daigle himself — while forcing audiences to rethink his rise, fall and supposed “failures.”

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