8. Pat LaFontaine

8. Pat LaFontaine

Pat LaFontaine only played 268 Games for the Buffalo Sabres, but it was a brief run that would land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

LaFontaine was already a three-time All-Star with the New York Islanders, whom he debuted for in 1983.  The Islanders were no longer the powerhouse they used to be, and they traded him to the Sabres in 1991 and remained a productive scorer with a 93-Point campaign in 1991-92 in only 57 Games. Ultimately healthy in 1992-93, LaFontaine had 148 Points and was a Second Team All-Star.  The Center was also third for both the Lady Byng and the Hart Trophy.  This season is, to date, the best statistical year ever by a Buffalo skater.  Sadly, LaFontaine was not able to build on that incredible year.

Concussions and other injuries held LaFontaine to only 38 Games over the next two years.  Awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for his perseverance in 1994-95, he was healthy again in 1994-96 with a 91 Point year.  Another concussion derailed him the following year, and the Sabres traded him to the New York Rangers, where he played one final season before retiring for good.

With the Sabres, LaFontaine scored 385 Points in 268 Games for a phenomenal 1.44 Points per Game.

LaFontaine was chosen for the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003, and three years later, his number 16 was hung from the rafters.  The Sabres enshrined LaFontaine into their Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Center
  • Acquired: Traded from the New York Islanders with Randy Hiller, Randy Wood, and New York's 1992 4th Round Pick (which would be Dean Melanson) for Pierre Turgeon, Uwe Krupp, Benoit Hogue, and Dave McLiwain 10/25/91.
  • Departed: Traded to the New York Rangers for New York’s 1998 2nd Round Pick (which would be Andrew Peters) and Future Considerations 9/29/97.
  • Games Played: 268
  • Notable Statistics:

    158 Goals
    227 Assists 
    385 Points 
    207 PIM 
    1.44 PPG 
    +3 Plus/Minus 
    37.1 Point Shares 
    27 Points in 19 Playoff Games

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    Second Team All-Star (1993)
    All-Star Game (1993)
    Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (1995)

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