Pat Lafontaine had a fifteen year career in the National Hockey League playing for the New York Islanders, the Buffalo Sabres, and the New York Rangers. He also attended the 1984 Olympic Games and various World Cup tournaments, retiring early due to repeated concussions.
Pat LaFontaine enjoyed an illustrious 15 year career before retiring from the NHL in 1998. He is still considered to have been among the game's best playmakers, fastest skaters and most humble of superstars.
LaFontaine was the New York Islanders' first choice selection, drafted third overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. He went to New York with tremendous credentials and high expectations. One of the first Americans to fine-tune his game at the Canadian Junior "A" level, Pat collected a league high of 234 points with Verdun in 1982/83. He received the prestigious honour of being recognized as Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year in 1983.
From his first shift in the NHL, Pat never disappointed. His career enjoyed many highlights including seven 40+ goal seasons and a career high 53 goals and 148 points - the NHL's second leading scorer - as Captain of the Buffalo Sabres in 1992/93. Pat achieved the "Empire State hat trick" by playing for all three NHL organizations within New York State - Islanders, Sabres and Rangers.
In June 1993, Pat became the first active player to receive the USA Hockey Distinguished Achievement Award, presented annually to a US citizen who has made hockey his or her profession and has made an outstanding contribution to the sport in the US. In addition, Pat, a five time All-Star, won the Bill Masterton Trophy in 1995 for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
He represented the USA at the international level at the 1984 and 1998 Winter Olympic and 1996 World Cup. Pat LaFontaine was named as a recipient of the 1997 Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.
Off the ice, Pat has long been known as an enthusiastic benefactor of charitable causes in the local community. His tireless efforts, and particularly with youngsters, have long been saluted both on Long Island and in Buffalo. Pat currently resides outside New York city with his family and has settled comfortably into his post retirement plans and business affairs.