Big honour for La-la-la-Fontaine

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Pat LaFontaine remembered his six-year tenure as a Buffalo Sabre with a nod to a former Maple Leaf.

LaFontaine, whose No. 16 was hoisted to the rafters of HSBC Arena in a ceremony prior to the game between the Leafs and Sabres, said the magical season of 1992-93 when he had 148 points (a Sabres record) while playing with Alexander Mogilny resonates to this day.

"Things just seemed to click right away," LaFontaine said. "Alex had some amazing speed. There was a sixth sense and I seemed to know where Alex was going to be."

Mogilny led the NHL with 76 goals that season.

LaFontaine, who was traded to the New York Rangers from Buffalo in 1997, retired the following year. In 2003, he was selected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret, who emceed the pre-game ceremony that delayed the start until 8:26, gave LaFontaine one last "La-la-la-la-la-laFontaine" call as a send-off.

LaFontaine was joined by his wife, father and three children on the ice and became the sixth Sabre to have his number retired. Others include LaFontaine's boyhood hero, Gilbert Perreault (No. 11) and the other members of the French Connection, Richard Martin (No. 7) and Rene Robert (No. 14). Also honoured are Tim Horton (No. 2) and Danny Gare (No. 18).

"It's surreal," LaFontaine said. "I can't begin to say how it feels."


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