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Brian Lawton?

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10-24-2005, 12:49 AM
  #1
edmontonoilers89
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Brian Lawton?

Watching a little of a semi-old piece on Sydney Crosby on the NHL Network, and they have Brian Lawton talking about Crosby and some other things. He goes on to say how when he was drafted 1st overall in the 1983 entry draft, a lot of his Minnesota North Stars teammates were jealous, and how it was a totally surreal experience for him after being well liked and captaining teams before entering the NHL. His old coach had a little piece where he said that Lawton would come out for games with scratches and cuts on his face and that they didn't come from the games, and he said that Lawton admitted to him that he looked forward to playing games moreso than practising. Then it said shortly after he retired.

I don't know so much about Lawton, and to be honest I had never even heard of him before, and didn't know he was the 1st overall pick in 1983, nevertheless the first American 1st overall pick.

Looking at his stats, while they aren't great, they aren't necessarily horrible, although for a first overall pick maybe some teams expected more. He retired in 1992-93 with NHL totals of G 112, A 154, P 266 in 483 NHL games.

I'm wondering for those who saw him play why he retired, and if it was because he couldn't get along with his teammates and just got fed up with hockey, because based on the little bit they talked about him, the video made it seem like that was the reason.

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10-24-2005, 01:11 AM
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Here are a couple of articles that may be of interest:

Check under "Lawton leaves Minnesota"

http://www.hockeydraftcentral.com/1983/83001.html

http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/...he_high_rhode/

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10-24-2005, 01:14 AM
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Trottier
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Brian Lawton was an underachiever of major proportions, given his standing coming into the 1983 draft. (I'm being kind; will let others use the "b" word.)

As an NYI fan, was happy as a pig in mud when the Stars took him #1, followed by Hartford taking Pierre Turgeon's older brother Sylvain. That let NYI at #3 overall snag a guy named Pat Lafontaine, with a pick they absolutely stole from the NJ Devils.

Yep, that summer of '83, things were looking pretty good for NYI, what with the team having just come off their fourth straight Cup and drafting a guy who just finished a 100 goal/200 point season in Juniors.


Last edited by Trottier: 10-24-2005 at 01:40 AM.
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10-24-2005, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
That let NYI at #3 overall to snag a guy named Pat Lafontaine, with a pick they absolutely stole from the NJ Devils.
October 1st 1981
-- New York Islanders trade LD Bob Lorimer and C Dave Cameron to New Jersey Devils for NJ's 1983 1st rd pick (#3, C Pat LaFontaine)


LaFontaine almost scored as many points in 1992-93 as the other two in their entire NHL careers (165-148).

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10-24-2005, 12:32 PM
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After a sparkling career at Mt. St. Charles H.S. in Rhode Island, its somewhat understandable that central scouting would have Lawton listed as the number one prospect for the 83 draft.

But I also think there was stardust in everyones eyes.

Its important to remember that with Bobby Carpenter coming into the NHL with a 30 goal season and Phil Housely stepping right into the league in 82-83, American high school players became the "hot new thing" for a while.

Plus there was still a certain glow in the air after team USA's Olympic win in 1980.

Unfortunately, Lawton lacked Carpenter's shot and grit and Housely's great hockey sense and wheels.

If anything, Lawton was just as much a victim as he was a bust. He was totally over his head in the NHL and was really only a point per game producer in the AHL.

The North Stars over estimated him, failed to exercise player development with him and then dumped him.

With 20/20 hindsight, Lawton would have been a productive 3rd round pick.

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10-24-2005, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayzinSmith
October 1st 1981
-- New York Islanders trade LD Bob Lorimer and C Dave Cameron to New Jersey Devils for NJ's 1983 1st rd pick (#3, C Pat LaFontaine)


LaFontaine almost scored as many points in 1992-93 as the other two in their entire NHL careers (165-148).
As good as LaFontaine was, the player who was predicted to be #1 at the start of the season but slid to #4 would`ve been an even better choice. Trottier and Yzerman on the same team would`ve been something special, and Stevie Y. would`ve fit in with that team`s style perfectly.

I also wouldn`t necessarily call Lawton a bust along the lines of Daigle or Joly, though his career was a disappointment considering the others chosen after him.

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10-24-2005, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayzinSmith
October 1st 1981
-- New York Islanders trade LD Bob Lorimer and C Dave Cameron to New Jersey Devils for NJ's 1983 1st rd pick (#3, C Pat LaFontaine)


LaFontaine almost scored as many points in 1992-93 as the other two in their entire NHL careers (165-148).
In three drafts, the Devils could have had Brian Bellows or Scott Stevens (1982- they swapped 1sts with Boston, who used the top pick on Gord Kluzak), Lafontaine or Yzerman (1983) and Mario Lemieux (they barely missed out on finishing last in 1984).

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10-24-2005, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianscot
After a sparkling career at Mt. St. Charles H.S. in Rhode Island, its somewhat understandable that central scouting would have Lawton listed as the number one prospect for the 83 draft.

But I also think there was stardust in everyones eyes.

Its important to remember that with Bobby Carpenter coming into the NHL with a 30 goal season and Phil Housely stepping right into the league in 82-83, American high school players became the "hot new thing" for a while.

Plus there was still a certain glow in the air after team USA's Olympic win in 1980.

Unfortunately, Lawton lacked Carpenter's shot and grit and Housely's great hockey sense and wheels.

If anything, Lawton was just as much a victim as he was a bust. He was totally over his head in the NHL and was really only a point per game producer in the AHL.

The North Stars over estimated him, failed to exercise player development with him and then dumped him.

With 20/20 hindsight, Lawton would have been a productive 3rd round pick.
Harry Sinden once described Lawton as "garbage."

The Bruins bought him from Quebec during the 1989-90 season, then realized why the Nordiques had literally given him away, and dumped him.

Lawton briefly reinvented himself with the San Jose Sharks in their inaugural season if memory serves...

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10-24-2005, 06:14 PM
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Like Doug Wickenheiser, I thought Lawton was a pretty solid player, who just didn't deserve to be #1 picks. If they had been mid 1sts or 2nds, they would have been thought of in alot better light.

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10-24-2005, 11:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psycho Papa Joe
Like Doug Wickenheiser, I thought Lawton was a pretty solid player, who just didn't deserve to be #1 picks. If they had been mid 1sts or 2nds, they would have been thought of in alot better light.
I agree. He was drafted #1 because of the USA hysteria after the 1980 Olympic win, the Neal Broten Hobey Baker win in 1981, and Phil Housley becoming a pro straight out of high school the year before. You have to understand the mentality in the state of Minnesota for hockey (it is rated even higher than in Toronto, I think! ). When they had the #1 pick, and had seen the success of Bobby Carpenter and Phil Housley and Mike Ramsey, etc., well...

I can only dream of what would have happened if the North Stars would have picked my 2nd all-time favorite player (Steve Yzerman) in that draft instead of Lawton! Sigh........


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10-25-2005, 03:24 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirk- NEHJ
In three drafts, the Devils could have had Brian Bellows or Scott Stevens (1982- they swapped 1sts with Boston, who used the top pick on Gord Kluzak), Lafontaine or Yzerman (1983) and Mario Lemieux (they barely missed out on finishing last in 1984).
Carry that over from their mismanagement in Colorado and KC. Scary to think what they could have done with proper asset management.

Did that team get its head out of it's *** before Lou came around?

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11-04-2005, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianscot
After a sparkling career at Mt. St. Charles H.S. in Rhode Island, its somewhat understandable that central scouting would have Lawton listed as the number one prospect for the 83 draft.
I don't recall central scouting having Lawton at the top of their list in '83. I might be wrong mind you.

I do recall watching the '83 draft on T.V. (I think it might of been the first televised draft) and all the hype seemed to be around Lafontaine. Most of the experts at the draft had pegged Lafontaine to go #1 followed by Yzerman at #2. I remember one announcer (could of been Bob McKenzie, can't recall if he was working that draft of not) stating that a dark horse for the #1 spot was Brian Lawton.

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11-04-2005, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reckoning
As good as LaFontaine was, the player who was predicted to be #1 at the start of the season but slid to #4 would`ve been an even better choice. Trottier and Yzerman on the same team would`ve been something special, and Stevie Y. would`ve fit in with that team`s style perfectly.

I also wouldn`t necessarily call Lawton a bust along the lines of Daigle or Joly, though his career was a disappointment considering the others chosen after him.
Daigle has somewhat redeemed himself over the last two years. He's still a bust but not as busty (ha!) as Lawton. Lawton failed to live up to high expectations, like Daigle, but never really carved himself a niche as a solid top 9 player either, unlike Daigle.

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11-04-2005, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darz
I don't recall central scouting having Lawton at the top of their list in '83. I might be wrong mind you.

I do recall watching the '83 draft on T.V. (I think it might of been the first televised draft) and all the hype seemed to be around Lafontaine. Most of the experts at the draft had pegged Lafontaine to go #1 followed by Yzerman at #2. I remember one announcer (could of been Bob McKenzie, can't recall if he was working that draft of not) stating that a dark horse for the #1 spot was Brian Lawton.
Hockey Draft central has his ratings like this
Quote:
Ranked by NHL Central Scouting Bureau as No. 1 overall prospect for the 1983 NHL draft. ... Rated in The Hockey News draft preview issue as No. 5 overall prospect for the 1983 NHL draft. ...

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11-07-2005, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbro
I stand corrected.

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