Though he now lives a quiet life in Chagrin Falls, hiking to Starbucks every morning for coffee and daily dose of chit chat, former hockey great Andre Lacroix remains an idol to thousands of fans in Canada.
In 1964, at age 18, the 5-foot-8 inch center won his 2nd Red Tilson Trophy – the equivalent of the Heisman in Canada’s prestigious major junior leagues. Only three people had ever won the award back to back. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Now retired, Lacroix keeps most of his memorabilia at home, with the intention of one day handing it over to his kids and grandkids. But he apparently isn’t big on reliving his glory. Until last month, he hadn’t opened up the boxes in 35 years.
That’s when a friend from Brooklyn called. “You won’t believe what I saw on eBay,” the friend said. “Your Red Tilson trophy.”
That’s impossible, Lacroix thought. It’s right here in my basement. But when he went down to check, he realized that the trophy was indeed gone.
Then Lacroix recalled that someone had broken into his Philadelphia home in 1972. He thought the burglar had only stolen some valuable, inherited silverware -- but the thief was apparently also aware of the value of Canadian hardware. Now his trophy was selling for $450 on eBay.
Lacroix was hysterical. “I get e-mails all the time from people who ask if I’d be interested in selling my jerseys – and I say absolutely not. I am saving them for my kids.”
So Lacroix called the seller and explained the situation, offering to reimburse the guy the $225 he originally paid for the trophy. But the seller had already shipped the item to a buyer in Newfoundland.
Chagrin Falls Detective Tim Reed has since notified cops in Newfoundland, but there’s been no response. – Rebecca Meiser