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Lafontaine and Hawerchuk in Buffalo

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02-23-2011, 01:30 PM
  #1
Stephen
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Lafontaine and Hawerchuk in Buffalo

Dale Hawerchuk was brought to Buffalo for the 1990-91 season and Pat Lafontaine came in 1991-92 for Pierre Turgeon, forming a pretty lethal one two combo for the Buffalo Sabres on paper. Of course Lafontaine went on to have a season for the ages with Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93 and was the captain of the team while Hawerchuk settled into second line duties and I think he had some injury trouble.

That said, Hawerchuk had a much better track record than Lafontaine throughout the 80s as a offensive producer, so my question is, was there some point was Hawerchuk supposed to be the Sabres number one center when he was brought in from Winnipeg? Why did the Sabres trade Turgeon for Lafontaine? Was there some point where Lafontaine was supposed to be the second line center behind Hawerchuk and how and when did he overtake him for frontline duties?

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02-23-2011, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Dale Hawerchuk was brought to Buffalo for the 1990-91 season and Pat Lafontaine came in 1991-92 for Pierre Turgeon, forming a pretty lethal one two combo for the Buffalo Sabres on paper. Of course Lafontaine went on to have a season for the ages with Alexander Mogilny in 1992-93 and was the captain of the team while Hawerchuk settled into second line duties and I think he had some injury trouble.

That said, Hawerchuk had a much better track record than Lafontaine throughout the 80s as a offensive producer, so my question is, was there some point was Hawerchuk supposed to be the Sabres number one center when he was brought in from Winnipeg? Why did the Sabres trade Turgeon for Lafontaine? Was there some point where Lafontaine was supposed to be the second line center behind Hawerchuk and how and when did he overtake him for frontline duties?
Hawerchuk was a move to deepen the team in the middle and take some of the pressure off Turgeon, as well as reshape the team by moving long-time core element Phil Housley out of town after 7 years of first round failures. With LaFontaine, they were looking to create a dynamic set of centers to rival anyone in the league and move the mercurial Turgeon after trying to build around him and support him. They thought themselves contenders and went after the more dynamic and media savvy LaFontaine to put a new stamp on the face of the team.

They didn't really have a "this is the first line, this is the second line" mentality to it, at least in the press at the time. Ducky played the PP with the Andreychuk-LaFontaine-Mogilny first line, typically with Doug Bodger as the only D-man on the unit.

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02-23-2011, 01:44 PM
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NHL 94 is a great game, but the on-ice names were so fuzzy that his name looked more like Booger than Bodger.

/Genius contribution.

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02-23-2011, 01:49 PM
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Also, Lafontaine was holding out that season with the Islanders and the Isles refused to give in on his contract demands. I guess the offer from Buffalo was the best offer they could get to ship Lafontaine out.

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02-23-2011, 01:51 PM
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When I saw this thread title, I said, "Patty and Dale are in Buffalo tonight???"

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02-23-2011, 01:57 PM
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When I saw this thread title, I said, "Patty and Dale are in Buffalo tonight???"
Same! I was wondering if they were making an appearance at the game or something.

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02-23-2011, 01:59 PM
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Reddawg
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When I saw this thread title, I said, "Patty and Dale are in Buffalo tonight???"
That's exactly what I thought...was thinking "wow, they're really bringing the legends back into the fold in Buffalo".

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02-23-2011, 02:20 PM
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Haha sorry about that folks, I've been on an early 90s nostalgia binge the past couple of days!

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02-23-2011, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rabi View Post
When I saw this thread title, I said, "Patty and Dale are in Buffalo tonight???"
Same here.

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02-23-2011, 02:32 PM
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I remember how excited I was about Hawerchuk...I loved that guy.

I also remember playing in a hockey game the night Lafontaine made his debut and being mad that I had to miss it.

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02-23-2011, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Hawerchuk was a move to deepen the team in the middle and take some of the pressure off Turgeon, as well as reshape the team by moving long-time core element Phil Housley out of town after 7 years of first round failures. With LaFontaine, they were looking to create a dynamic set of centers to rival anyone in the league and move the mercurial Turgeon after trying to build around him and support him. They thought themselves contenders and went after the more dynamic and media savvy LaFontaine to put a new stamp on the face of the team.

They didn't really have a "this is the first line, this is the second line" mentality to it, at least in the press at the time. Ducky played the PP with the Andreychuk-LaFontaine-Mogilny first line, typically with Doug Bodger as the only D-man on the unit.
LaFontaine was also the first and principal move influenced by Muckler towards evolving the Sabres into a faster, more offensively-minded team like the Oilers were. Nearly every trade after LaFontaine was for a player with speed replacing a slower Sabre player (Wood, Svoboda, Hannan, etc.).

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02-23-2011, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddawg View Post
That's exactly what I thought...was thinking "wow, they're really bringing the legends back into the fold in Buffalo".
I know Hawerchuk is coaching in juniors and LaFontaine is busy with his charities and home-building business on Long Island but it'd sure be nice if Pegula lures both back sometime this or next season for appearances at the arena.

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