BUFFALO – Having won the award named after Ted Lindsay twice, Connor McDavid said he “had the honor” of meeting one of hockey’s all-time legendary figures, who passed away today at age 93.
“Nobody’s done … what he’s done for the players in the game,” the Edmonton Oilers captain said of the former Detroit Red Wings star. “It’s amazing. You can’t say enough good things about him.”
On the ice, Lindsay, nicknamed “Terrible Ted,” was a Hall of Famer and one of the fiercest competitors in NHL history. Off it, he fought for players.
In the late 1950s, Lindsay filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league in an attempt to start a players’ association. While the bold move fell short, it laid the groundwork for the establishment of the NHL Players’ Association in 1967.
McDavid, 22, said it’s important today’s players understand Lindsay’s contributions to hockey.
“We all grew up playing this game, loving this game and kind of want to see how this game got to where it is today,” McDavid said this afternoon inside KeyBank Center. “He’s obviously somebody that’s played a huge role in basically starting the PA and giving the players a voice. It’s pretty special what he’s done for the players.”
McDavid then mentioned he read this morning Lindsay refused to attend his Hall of Fame induction in 1966 because wives and families weren’t invited to the ceremony.
“That’s amazing,” McDavid said. “That just shows what he’s about. He was not afraid to stand up to anyone and stand up for what he believed in.”
The Ted Lindsay Award is given to the most outstanding player selected by the NHLPA. McDavid won the award in 2016-17 and 2017-18.