Maybe it seems as such because they are so close to the area, but for the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Sabres alumni that really appreciate their love for the blue and gold and the community it represents something much greater than their contributions on the ice.
No on in Buffalo will ever forget Pat Lafontaine – those that saw him play remember his style, his ability to put the puck in the net. You can listen to calls of all his goals and typically the words “Oh What A Move” are the first words out of an announcers mouth.
Who can forget the famous Rick Jeanneret calls “Tis the season, Fa La La La La La Lafontaine!”
Drafted third overall by the New York Islanders in the 1983 entry draft, he made his way to Buffalo and wore the Blue and Gold here from 1991-1997. He is a member of the US Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Hockey Hall of Fame. He scored the game winning goal in the Easter Epic, a playoff game where LaFontaine scored the series winning goal in the fourth overtime against the Washington Capitals.
Today however, he was awarded something for his work off the ice.
While with the Sabres, LaFontaine became heavily involved with the Buffalo Children’s Hospital, which led to his founding of the Companions in Courage Foundation in 1997. The nonprofit raises funds to build interactive playrooms in hospitals throughout North America. Known as “Lion’s Dens,” the playrooms – complete with video games, TVs, DVD players and other amenities – replace the isolation children can feel at a hospital with family, friends and fun during their hospital stay. The Companions in Courage Foundation believes that no child in the fight for life or health should ever have to go through it alone. It offers courage, friendship and support to children and families who are overcoming illness and life-threatening obstacles all across North America. For his efforts, he has been honored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society with the Patriot Award in 2000 and by the Gift of Life Foundation with the International Humanitarian Award in 2003.
Congratulations to Pat Lafontaine. He never did it for the accolades, only the less fortunate. None the less, an award deserving that he can add to the trophy case, along with his other prestigious honors, most bestowed because of his ability to put other first.