Be A Player: Rewind | Pat LaFontaine

Pat LaFontaine fondly recalls his rocky start on double runners, to what eventually became the best feeling in the world!

Pat LaFontaine

865 NHL Games (NYI, BUF, NYR)
468 G, 545 A, 1,013 PTS
1994-95 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Winner (1994-95)
Lester Patrick Trophy Winner (1996-97)
2003 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
Named among 100 Greatest Players by NHL

The year was 1996, the host was Paul Romanuk, and the player was Pat LaFontaine.

The St. Louis-born forward recalls his rocky start on double runners with his father, to what became the best feeling in the world. Known for his work in the community, LaFontaine goes on to detail how he made the most of the time he spent injured while making an impact off the ice in Buffalo.

Also of note in this week's episode, is Wayne Gretzky's greatest moments segment that recounts the Howe family legacy – one unlikely to ever be accomplished again.

Then and now

LaFontaine left his mark on the game as one of the game's greatest Americans, and ranks fifth in goals among United States-born players.

LaFontaine has since been recognized for his contributions both on and off the ice. In 2000, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society recognized LaFontaine with the Patriot Award for his contribution to military morale throughout his playing days. In 2003, he was awarded the International Humanitarian Award by the Gift of Life Foundation, an organization that promotes the cure and treatment of children suffering from heart disease in third world countries.

In 2004, LaFontaine was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. In 2006, the Sabres retired LaFontaine's No. 16 to the rafters of KeyBank Arena. 

Soon after, he was also inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.


Full Be A Player: Rewind series here