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LaFontaine still helping kids, concerned about concussions

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01-27-2012, 04:13 PM
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Sabretip
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LaFontaine still helping kids, concerned about concussions

Always worth posting an article about my all-time favorite Sabre (and 2nd favorite all-time hockey player behind Gretzky):

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Pat LaFontaine, whose career was cut short by multiple concussions, is healthy now. But he can still vividly remember the bad days brought on by his head injuries.

"A bad day is you have no enthusiasm," LaFontaine said today in the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. "You have a migraine headache. Youíre anxious. You donít want to leave the house. Youíre very emotional. You just canít see the light. Thereís no spark. Thereís nothing, and you canít find it. Itís a very confusing place. I wouldnít be able to sit and have a conversation."

It's those recollections that have the Hockey and Buffalo Sabres Hall of Famer worried about the health of today's NHL players. Head injuries seem as commonplace as breakaways nowadays, and LaFontaine is concerned for players like Sidney Crosby, who has missed most of the past two seasons with concussions.
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LaFontaine is in Canada's capital to help open a playroom for sick kids in the Ottawa hospital, much like the Lion's Dens his Companions in Courage Foundation opened in Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Women's and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

"At the end of the day, weíre up to almost impacting 45,000 to 50,000 kids a year around North America," LaFontaine said. "It never gets old when you open up a room like this for kids."
http://blogs.buffalonews.com/sabres/...ncussions.html

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01-27-2012, 10:14 PM
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My favorite all time Sabre too. Forgot to mention on the meet the Sabres in public thread that I met Pat during the All Star Game festivities here in Denver in 2001. He just came out with his book and he had a booth in the exhibit hall where all the league trophies, games and displays were. I had him sign my LaFontaine jersey and we went thru my 20th anniversary book and he took the time to sign pages with photos he was in and reminisced about the event in the picture (like the S. Knox award ceremony and the practice when they unveiled the goat head uni's).

I have his book which he penned a note entitled "To a great Sabre fan......."

He was definitely surprised and pleased to see us and appreciated being recognized as an ex-Sabre.

The guy is every inch the athlete. Moves with grace and confidence in every step and action. Oi vey, what an outstanding public ambassador he would be for the Sabres franchise.

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01-28-2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by littletonhockeycoach View Post
My favorite all time Sabre too. Forgot to mention on the meet the Sabres in public thread that I met Pat during the All Star Game festivities here in Denver in 2001. He just came out with his book and he had a booth in the exhibit hall where all the league trophies, games and displays were. I had him sign my LaFontaine jersey and we went thru my 20th anniversary book and he took the time to sign pages with photos he was in and reminisced about the event in the picture (like the S. Knox award ceremony and the practice when they unveiled the goat head uni's).

I have his book which he penned a note entitled "To a great Sabre fan......."

He was definitely surprised and pleased to see us and appreciated being recognized as an ex-Sabre.

The guy is every inch the athlete. Moves with grace and confidence in every step and action. Oi vey, what an outstanding public ambassador he would be for the Sabres franchise.
Great story - I remember watching the throng of fans of all ages follow him like an entourage around the 200 level as he made his way to the MSG TV set for an interview on the night his jersey got retired. He had the presence you described - the stature of a rock star yet the humility of the average sports fan. I managed to chat with him briefly after waiting about an hour for him to finish with the media, etc. Total class act and really down to earth person.

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01-28-2012, 10:17 AM
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The picture we all hoped to see at one time - LaFontaine holding the Cup:

http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/sa...icle716852.ece

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