Bryan Berard’s choice to not play in Ottawa was probably highly influenced by the actions of one Eric Lindros four years earlier.
In 1991, it was well know that Lindros wouldn’t play in Quebec. The Nordiques did draft Lindros, and while it took a long time to find a deal, Quebec finally found a taker, and the Philadelphia Flyers ended up giving up the player who was chosen as the sixth pick in the same draft, Peter Forsberg.
It seemed like a hugely lopsided deal as the Flyers gave up Peter Forsberg, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Mike Ricci, Kerry Huffman, Steve Duchesne, a first-round selection (Jocelyn Thibault) in 1993, a first-round selection (later traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, later traded to the Washington Capitals -Nolan Baumgartner) in 1994, and $15,000,000 cash.
Lindros ended up being a huge part of why the Flyers were competitive for so many years, but the trade was in no way an even trade. The Colorado Avalanche were turned into a competitor instantly, and didn’t take long to contend as they won the Stanley Cup twice with Forsberg, who also ended up winning the Hart trophy in 2003.