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Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement?

View Poll Results: Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement?
Yes 48 88.89%
No 6 11.11%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
03-14-2006, 07:45 AM
  #1
Malignant
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Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement?

Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement? This was questioned on the TSN weekly mail (done by the same guy who produces their Power Rankings).

Quote:
SC, Since when does a few good seasons and one spectacular season warrant a number retirement? As a lifelong Sabres fan and a Lafontaine fan, I'm rather miffed at the retirement of his #16. I don't think he played long enough and had enough impact on the Sabres franchise. Do you know of any other players that fit this same bill? When I think of Pat Lafontaine, I think of the Islanders...not the Sabres and I was in the stands for many home games the season him and Mogilny lit the lamp. Thanks, Al in Houston, TX

Al, not to rain on Lafontaine's parade, but I tend to agree that having his number retired in Buffalo seems to be playing fairly loose with the requirements. Of course, his 1992-1993 season was spectacular (148 points) but aside from that, Lafontaine had two more 90-plus point seasons and three injury-plagued seasons in which he played no more than 22 games. On top of that, he managed to play only 19 playoff games during his six seasons in Buffalo. So, while Lafontaine was extremely productive with the Sabres, I agree with your questioning the honour the Sabres bestowed upon number 16.
Harsh, or do they have a point? Personally I felt he deserved it, plus he does a lot of charity work in the area.

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03-14-2006, 07:58 AM
  #2
Juni
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Yes, but I love Lala like no other hockey player.

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Old
03-14-2006, 08:00 AM
  #3
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Pfeh! Let the man have his moment, I say. He may not have been a long-time Sabre, but I think this is right in the same ballpark as the "Neely doesn't belong in the Hall" arguments. Longevity is overblown.

As far as low standards go, this is nothing next to Nashville raising a banner at the beginning of the season to commemorate their *playoff*appearance* in '03-04.

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03-14-2006, 08:12 AM
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Moot point.

The guy could still be playing if his career had not been cut short by a concussion. IMO he's only the greatest American player to have played the game.

It's not like the sabres are actually loose with retiring numbers.

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03-14-2006, 08:29 AM
  #5
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I don't think its just what he did on the ice in Buffalo, but what he did off the ice and the caliber of person he was.

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03-14-2006, 08:30 AM
  #6
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He closed the Aud for Gosh sakes!

Buffalo celebrates players for not just what they do on the ice but also all the factors that go in to being a great person. One of LaFontaine's seasons probably had more points then Rob Ray had in his career and Razor got an expensive watch and a boat. Numbers aren't everything. Especially when you are talking about a local franchises decisions. The hall my have to follow different criteria.

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03-14-2006, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Digable5
and Razor got an expensive watch and a boat.
And a plum job he can't do and doesn't deserve.

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03-14-2006, 08:38 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malignant
Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement? This was questioned on the TSN weekly mail (done by the same guy who produces their Power Rankings).
That guy blows monkey balls.

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03-14-2006, 08:48 AM
  #9
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Originally Posted by jj@jj.com
IMO he's only the greatest American player to have played the game.
Agree completely!

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03-14-2006, 09:05 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malignant
Does Pat Lafontaine deserve his number retirement? This was questioned on the TSN weekly mail (done by the same guy who produces their Power Rankings).


Harsh, or do they have a point? Personally I felt he deserved it, plus he does a lot of charity work in the area.
Off ice contributions and being the face of the team to get the arena built weigh heavily. The two guys who should be up there are #11 and #39. After that, there is going to be cause for debate.

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03-14-2006, 09:31 AM
  #11
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Buffalo has retired six numbers in 36 seasons. Hasek's number is unofficially the seventh. That makes them loose with retiring numbers.

The Bruins have been around for a hundred years and won five Stanley Cups and they have "honored" ten numbers. The Maple Leafs have retired two numbers and honored numbers of ten other players. The Canadiens have retired nine numbers. They've won almost three times as many Cups as that! If Buffalo prides itself on its tradition, let's compare ourselves with these teams and not Nashville.

The more you retire numbers, the less special it is. The fact that people are even questioning the retirement of LaFontaine's number proves that. Did anyone question when they retired Perreault's number?

I guess I have tougher standards than most. I don't think you retire a guy's number because he did a lot of charity work. I think that time spent with the organization does matter. I don't think the fact that the guy is a Hall of Famer or the greatest American player ever makes a difference when it's weighted towards all the things that the guy did outside of a Sabres uniform. And I'm afraid to hear whose number they retire next.

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03-14-2006, 09:35 AM
  #12
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I say yes because of what he meant to this community. He was so much more than a hockey player and he was robbed of some great years but an unfortunate incident.

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03-14-2006, 10:23 AM
  #13
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Despite my views that there is too much 'celebrating just for the sake of celebrating'... most likely to drive up media interest and attendance in a few games throughout the season... and not being a fan of retiring numbers in general...

Lafontaine deserves all the accolades he can get, so heck, why not...

...but as Zobes pointed out, I can only think of the Original 6 teams as being comparable to the Sabres in the amount of numbers retired...

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03-14-2006, 10:28 AM
  #14
Rick Jeanneret
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Let's be fair when it comes to Pat LaFontaine as well...if Francios Leroux did not cheap shot Patty in 97...maybe Pat's career would have lasted a few more seasons at least...he would have put up a few more very good years, been higher on the all-time list for scoring...and this issue would have not come up.

So what if Patty only played "6 years" in Buffalo??

He did more in that timeframe then most players do in 12.

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03-14-2006, 10:47 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jeanneret
He did more in that timeframe then most players do in 12.
quoted for truth.

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03-14-2006, 11:12 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Jeanneret
Let's be fair when it comes to Pat LaFontaine as well...if Francios Leroux did not cheap shot Patty in 97...maybe Pat's career would have lasted a few more seasons at least...he would have put up a few more very good years, been higher on the all-time list for scoring...and this issue would have not come up.

So what if Patty only played "6 years" in Buffalo??

He did more in that timeframe then most players do in 12.
And again, the concussion issue -- along with the broken jaw and blown knee -- are factors in his success on the ice. I loved watching him play. I think he deserved to be honored in the same way I think others should be honored. But a full-fledged number retirement? No.

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03-14-2006, 11:17 AM
  #17
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Hasek, Bert, and maybe Martin are the only numbers that should be up there. I'd rather it be super-elite and have just Dom and Perreault.

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03-14-2006, 11:54 AM
  #18
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Very stupid question. OF COURSE HE DOES!! Pat is a A+ class act player. He definitely deserves it.

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03-14-2006, 12:07 PM
  #19
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More controversy in this thread then in the GCT !!

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Old
03-14-2006, 12:14 PM
  #20
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I'm disappointed to see that this ceremony has put so much more fan focus on Lafontaine than on Danny Gare. Perhaps it's because Patty played more recently, but it's still a shame.

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03-14-2006, 12:22 PM
  #21
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Lafontaine as mentioned before did more in 6 years than some wearing the Buffalo uni did in 12.

He was a class act on & off the ice

and probably one of the best American born players.


He deserved it

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03-15-2006, 11:19 AM
  #22
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Lafontaine did more for this club than......say a tim horton who is in the rafters...But I don't believe you can retire a number for the charity work in the area.....if thats the case than Rob Ray's # is next.

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03-15-2006, 01:25 PM
  #23
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I think La La deserves to be up there. As for that last post, Ray may not have put up the points, but he was a great team leader, and I won't be surprised if his jersey is raised.

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03-15-2006, 03:42 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd007h
I think La La deserves to be up there. As for that last post, Ray may not have put up the points, but he was a great team leader, and I won't be surprised if his jersey is raised.


Is this why the poll is running almost 90% in favor?

This isn't the Sabres Hall of Fame we're talking about. There are only so many numbers. The more people you include in this honor, the less it means. And the less elite the company, the more you open the door to considering other players.

If everyone is comfortable with the rationale for LaFontaine, which sounds like 1.) It doesn't matter he only played 268 regular season games for Buffalo. Because he was hurt the time he was here and retired young we'll give him credit for what a completely healthy Sabres career would have been 2.) He did a lot of charitable work and made a mark in the community 3.) He was a great player during his entire career (70% of which was with the Islanders), plus the greatest American-born player 4.) Intagibles - He was classy, he was team captain, he closed the Aud, etc. - let's be as understanding with everyone. If we've opened the door for LaFontaine, let's use the same rationale for similar Sabres. We have to start talking about Craig Ramsay, Mike Ramsey, Don Luce, Mike Foligno, Jim Schoenfeld, and Don Edwards for starters. It would be very easy to find the same kind of arguments for them.

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03-15-2006, 04:05 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zobes


Is this why the poll is running almost 90% in favor?

This isn't the Sabres Hall of Fame we're talking about. There are only so many numbers. The more people you include in this honor, the less it means. And the less elite the company, the more you open the door to considering other players.

If everyone is comfortable with the rationale for LaFontaine, which sounds like 1.) It doesn't matter he only played 268 regular season games for Buffalo. Because he was hurt the time he was here and retired young we'll give him credit for what a completely healthy Sabres career would have been 2.) He did a lot of charitable work and made a mark in the community 3.) He was a great player during his entire career (70% of which was with the Islanders), plus the greatest American-born player 4.) Intagibles - He was classy, he was team captain, he closed the Aud, etc. - let's be as understanding with everyone. If we've opened the door for LaFontaine, let's use the same rationale for similar Sabres. We have to start talking about Craig Ramsay, Mike Ramsey, Don Luce, Mike Foligno, Jim Schoenfeld, and Don Edwards for starters. It would be very easy to find the same kind of arguments for them.
Well put.

I agree with everything there, and if I were a fan of another team, I would've found the Lafontaine celebration a bit ridiculous.

But when it comes to #16, I fail at being impartial.

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