"From 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., I touched base with the other two teams. Detroit told us, at this point, that they were done tweaking, this was the best they could do. So I knew where [Wings GM Ken Holland] was at. By 2:30, Ray touched base again. I told him, 'It's getting close to the deadline. If you're in, you better step up quickly.' He asked me exactly what it was going to take. We were at two assets at that point, but Esposito and Armstrong were not in the deal. He called me back around 2:35 p.m. and threw in Esposito's name. I said to him if he threw Armstrong in as well, we had a deal. That was about 2:40. He said, 'I can't do it, I can't do it.' I said, 'Are you telling me you're out?' He said, 'Give me five minutes.'"
Those were the longest five minutes of Waddell's life. By 2:50, Shero still hadn't called back.
"So, I called Ray back," said Waddell. "He said, 'Hang on, I'm on the other line with Mario.' He kept me on hold for five more minutes. Now it's 2:55 and I'm sweating bullets because I don't even know at this point if I have time to make the call to Montreal. I'm on hold, felt like forever, so I picked up a different phone line and got Ray's assistant and I said, 'Tell him to pick up the damn phone or I'm hanging up on him.'"
Shero came on, and was still unsure.
"I said to Ray, 'I know you're giving up good assets, but you're getting a hell of a player and a hell of a guy. He's going to help you get to where you want to get to.' He said, 'Alright, I'll do it.' I'm telling you, it was 2:57 p.m. at that time.