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Guy Lafleur - the Ranger

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09-30-2007, 09:24 PM
  #1
gilles lupien
 
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Guy Lafleur - the Ranger

The last thread (converting) got me thinking. It was only recent that I discovered that Guy Lafleur played for the Rangers at the end of his career. I must have been sleeping for years... I never knew that. That's incredible. Are there any old Ranger fans out there that were around at that time that can remember that? Was it a big deal? Did the hockey media make a big deal about it? Did nyc media care? Did Guy do any good? What was it like in NY at that time with Guy on the team? He's such a legend in Montreal, such a Montreal icon it's hard to imagine him in any other uniform. Did he ever play against the Habs?


Any shared memories would be great appreciated! Please bring me back in time to MSG with Guy!
Thanks!

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09-30-2007, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilles lupien View Post
The last thread (converting) got me thinking. It was only recent that I discovered that Guy Lafleur played for the Rangers at the end of his career. I must have been sleeping for years... I never knew that. That's incredible. Are there any old Ranger fans out there that were around at that time that can remember that? Was it a big deal? Did the hockey media make a big deal about it? Did nyc media care? Did Guy do any good? What was it like in NY at that time with Guy on the team? He's such a legend in Montreal, such a Montreal icon it's hard to imagine him in any other uniform. Did he ever play against the Habs?


Any shared memories would be great appreciated! Please bring me back in time to MSG with Guy!
Thanks!
I don't think that the media made a big deal about it. They found it odd that he was coming back at all let alone with the Rangers. I think that there may have been a rumor that the Rangers were the only team willing to take a chance on him at his age after a three years away from the game.

It was interesting to watch the Flower and the dynamic midget (Marcel Dionne) play together back then 2 (at that time) icons playing for the Rangers. To bad they were both way past their primes.

That said, Dionne was still just shy of a point a game player and for being retired for three years, Guy played well.

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Old
09-30-2007, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilles lupien View Post
The last thread (converting) got me thinking. It was only recent that I discovered that Guy Lafleur played for the Rangers at the end of his career. I must have been sleeping for years... I never knew that. That's incredible. Are there any old Ranger fans out there that were around at that time that can remember that? Was it a big deal? Did the hockey media make a big deal about it? Did nyc media care? Did Guy do any good? What was it like in NY at that time with Guy on the team? He's such a legend in Montreal, such a Montreal icon it's hard to imagine him in any other uniform. Did he ever play against the Habs?
Thanks!
Gee Thanks! You'd be shocked to know then that after his stint in New York he played for QUEBEC!

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09-30-2007, 11:31 PM
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As I recall he played pretty well. I was really excited when the Rangers got him as he was always one of my favorite non-rangers. It was amazing to hear the whole garden chant Guuuuuuy every time he touched the puck. If I recall correctly he wanted to stay with the Rangers but Phil Esposito didn't want to pay him what he wanted so he left for the Nordiques. But that may just be a distortion on my part since I liked him a lot better than Espo. I also remember that he regrew a lot of hair that season.

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10-01-2007, 12:07 AM
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I remember it well, there wasn't alot of media attention--they were more curious than excited, in part because no one knew if Lefleur had anything left after being out of the game for 4 years--but there was a buzz among hockey fans because we knew how good he'd been. And even though it was obvious his skills had deteriorated, he was still a lot of fun to watch. The thing that was most fun was how smooth he was on the ice. He had lost a lot of his speed, but he could accelerate and get up to full speed in a stride or two and it seemed absolutely effortless. He played well enough to come back, that's for sure.

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Old
10-01-2007, 01:23 AM
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I remember one play in particular when he was at center ice looking for a change and took a shot- an absolute laser that found the top corner, blocker side over a shocked goaltender. He barely celebrated, but had that cheshire cat grin on when he went to the bench. He played great for us, and was a pleasure to watch, still a great skater with the hair blowing in the wind.

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10-01-2007, 03:51 AM
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He'd been retired for a couple-3 seasons and just wanted to play again and the Rangers were willing to give him a chance. He didn't play bad but his game had eroded somewhat. We'd get flashes of what he used to be. Overall it was a good experiment--he contributed but he was pretty much a shell of what he once was.

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10-01-2007, 06:11 AM
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A real treat to watch him play at any point in his career.

Watching him rocket down the wing for the Habs was shear beauty on skates and shear terror for opposing defensemen.

And most of all a class act as a player and person.

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10-01-2007, 08:16 AM
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I remember it well. Back in those days the Rangers teams weren't very good. At first it seemed like a publicity stunt. After a couple of weeks it became apparent that Guy could still play the game. Ended up scoring 25 or 30 goals. Yes he did play in the old Forum against Les Habs and I believe scored a goal (my memory may be shaky on that detail but I do remember the Forum crowd giving him a rousing ovation)! Pretty cool seeing him in a Rangers uniform!

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Old
10-01-2007, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilles lupien View Post
The last thread (converting) got me thinking. It was only recent that I discovered that Guy Lafleur played for the Rangers at the end of his career. I must have been sleeping for years... I never knew that. That's incredible. Are there any old Ranger fans out there that were around at that time that can remember that? Was it a big deal? Did the hockey media make a big deal about it? Did nyc media care? Did Guy do any good? What was it like in NY at that time with Guy on the team? He's such a legend in Montreal, such a Montreal icon it's hard to imagine him in any other uniform. Did he ever play against the Habs?


Any shared memories would be great appreciated! Please bring me back in time to MSG with Guy!
Thanks!


He was still fun to watch. I believe he scored 18 goals for the Rangers that season.

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Old
10-01-2007, 08:39 AM
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http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p....php3?pid=2902

he scored 18 goals for the rangers and played 3 more seasons afterwards all on the nordiques.

i didn't realize he played for them either till i saw a lafleur rangers jersey.

edit: on an entirely different topic, i just noticed he and dionne went #1, #2 overall in the 1971 draft. pretty cool how they both ended up on the rangers at the end of their careers, and also pretty typical.

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Old
10-01-2007, 09:03 AM
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Guuuuuuyyyyyyyyy!

sent shivers down my spine!
that 1st game back in Montreal when he score 2 or 3 goals - legendary! Rangers lost but lafleur got first star
and standing ovation! brought tears to my eyes!

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10-01-2007, 11:57 AM
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He staryted very slow and looked like a favor more then anything, Then mid way through the year he was quickly become a key to the powerplay and the team needed him. The only thing that bothered me was he left the next season to play for th Nords after we gave him the chance to prove he could still play

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Old
10-01-2007, 12:13 PM
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agree

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Old
10-01-2007, 12:38 PM
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Just echoing the opinions here.

A pleasure to watch. Smooth as silk.

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Old
10-01-2007, 05:56 PM
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I was pretty young when it happened, like 12 years old, maybe 13 But I do remember Warner Wolf talking about it on a news broadcast & my Dad being pretty excited @ the time. We had cable so I got to see him play that season

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10-01-2007, 06:43 PM
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Guy was a pleasure to watch in a Ranger uni. He was still a good player but I think he was treated unfairly by some. When you've been a legend, some people expect you to always remain at the level.

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Old
10-01-2007, 07:22 PM
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Guy was a pleasure to watch in a Ranger uni. He was still a good player but I think he was treated unfairly by some. When you've been a legend, some people expect you to always remain at the level.
It has happened with every superstar that has come here, They beat up on Gretzky too, most unfairly

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Old
10-01-2007, 08:45 PM
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wow. thanks everyone, for your memories. i'd no idea. merci!

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Old
10-01-2007, 11:24 PM
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Here's another interesting little tidbit relating to Lafleur (comes from NHL.com, player index):

Signed as a free agent by Quebec, July 14, 1989. NY Rangers received Quebec's 5th round choice (Sergei Zubov) in 1990 Entry Draft as compensation.

Guess it wasn't such a bad thing the Rangers let him go.

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Old
10-02-2007, 02:10 AM
  #21
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Guy was always one of my favorite all-time players. I enjoyed seeing him as a Ranger even though it was at the end. He was definitely fun to watch even on his last legs.

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