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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
By Ben Ricker and Josh Wilson
For the next few installments of Garbage Goals, we’re going to take a look at our favorite draft picks of all time: the top five biggest draft busts. Let the countdown of mediocrity begin! We’ll start the list with number 5, the legendary Todd Warriner.
Todd Warriner was drafted fourth overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1992 NHL entry draft, although he never actually laced up for Quebec. Before getting a crack at the NHL, Warriner was traded, a recurring trend throughout his 11-year tenure in the league, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs received Warriner, Mats Sundin, Garth Burcher, and a 1994 first round draft pick for Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefevbre, Landon Wilson, and another 1994 first round pick. Warriner spent 6 years with the Maple Leafs, the most of any team he played for. The left-winger put up rather pedestrian numbers, with his best season in the NHL coming in 1997, where he played 75 games (the most he’d ever played in a season), with a whopping 33 points.
The highlight of Todd Warriner’s career came on February 20, 1999. In the very first game at the new Air Canada Centre, Warriner potted the first goal at the new arena, permanently leaving his mark of mediocrity on the Leafs. Possibly because Toronto couldn’t deal with their tarnished reputation, they traded Todd to Tampa Bay for a third round pick, used to draft equally obscure athlete Mikael Tellqvist. Here comes the fun part. From 2001 – 2003, Warriner played for five different teams. Tampa Bay traded him to Phoenix for Juha Ylonen (note: not even Obscure Athletes remembers this guy), and he was involved in a multiplayer deal with Vancouver the same year. He was traded the next year to Philadelphia for “future considerations”, probably because they didn’t know how he could possibly have less trade value than Juha Ylonen, and was later waived and claimed by Nashville, the last team he would ever play for. Todd finished with an unremarkable 154 points in 453 games and finished his career with a -37 rating, yet somehow managed to stay in the league for 11 years. If you’re wondering what ever happened to Todd Warriner, you obviously don’t live in Canada.
Warriner was recently on the Canadian equivalent of “Dancing With the Stars”, which pairs figure skaters with former NHL “stars”. The show’s called “Battle of the Blades”, and Warriner was prancing around with the likes of obscure athletes P.J. Stock, Valeri Bure, Georges Laraque, with Bure taking home the win for season two, undoubtedly his greatest achievement. Here’s a video for your viewing pleasure. He seems pretty graceful, though we’re not figure skating experts. Maybe this was what Todd wanted to do all along? Oh well, see you next week with our fourth greatest draft bust!