Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: pat lafontaine
from Allan Kreda of the New York Times,
Pat LaFontaine has always been a popular Islander, though in recent years he has not been seen much at Nassau Coliseum.
Since he left the franchise during the turbulent summer of 2006, after the abrupt departure of Neil Smith as general manager, LaFontaine, the team’s gregarious former center, has primarily concentrated on his charity work and, more recently, working for the N.H.L. as vice president for hockey development and community affairs after a brief job as an executive with the Buffalo Sabres.
Before the Islanders leave for Barclays Center, however, LaFontaine will finally return to Nassau Coliseum, which he called home from 1984 to 1991. A Hall of Famer, he was happy to be invited back by the team owner Charles B. Wang and General Manager Garth Snow to greet fans and be recognized on the ice before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
“I haven’t been in the building for a long time, so I’m excited to see it again,” LaFontaine, 50, said. “I cherish those times and the players I played with. And the Islander fans have always been great. I’m honored to come back to where it all started for me.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 1, 2014) --- The Buffalo Sabres today announced Pat LaFontaine has resigned his position with the Buffalo Sabres to resume his previous role with the National Hockey League.
“I would like to thank Pat for all he has done for the organization,” said Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula. “Pat joined us at a very difficult time and helped transition the organization down a new path. Tim Murray will continue as General Manager and Craig Patrick will continue as a Senior Hockey Advisor. As has been the case since I bought the team, we’ll continue to do whatever is needed to rebuild the organization and keep it on path towards our ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
“Terry Pegula hired me in November and my primary objective was to lead the Sabres organization through a time of transition,” said Pat LaFontaine. “I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish in a short period of time and want to thank Terry and Kim Pegula for the opportunity and their support during my time with the Sabres. I also want to convey my best wishes to all of the players in the Sabres organization and to wish them the best of success in the future. Most importantly, I want to convey my heartfelt appreciation to the great fans of the Sabres for the way I have been treated here as a player and as an executive.”
“The most important thing is to listen to what Ryan Miller wants to do. Obviously you’d love to keep a great goalie like that. He knows Buffalo. Everybody loves him here but at the same instance I’ve got to know what he wants to do. If it fits into the plan long term and financially it’s a good fit, Ryan Miller will be here. If not, if he doesn’t want to be here, we’ll make the best choice for the future of our organization.”
“To come by a goalie like that who wants to stay here should he choose to want to stay here helps our team grow. It gives us an opportunity to develop. If he wants to be here under the right terms, I think you’d love to keep Ryan Miller.”
-Pat LaFontaine, President of Hockey Operations for the Buffalo Sabres. More on Miller and new GM Tim Murray from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
from Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal,
The fracture seems to stem from LaFontaine’s 40-day tenure as an unpaid senior adviser to team owner Charles Wang and his resignation from that post on July 18, 2006. That resignation came just hours after Wang had fired general manager Neil Smith and replaced him with the team’s backup goaltender, Garth Snow. Wang had hired Smith and LaFontaine on the same day, and LaFontaine said in a recent interview that he disagreed with Wang’s decision to fire Smith after less than six weeks.
LaFontaine elected to step down after failing to persuade Wang to reconsider, he said—not necessarily out of loyalty to Smith, but out of concern for the franchise’s direction. “I believe you treat people fairly,” he said, “and stand up for what you believe in.”
Through a team spokesman, Wang declined to comment on the situation. “Pat LaFontaine had a great NHL career and does a lot for the Long Island community,” Wang said in a statement. “We wish him all the best.” Snow declined to comment through a spokesman.
Former Islanders general manager Mike Milbury, who was a member of the team’s board of governors when LaFontaine resigned, said he would understand if Wang still held a grudge against LaFontaine.
from John Vogl of the Buffalo News,
LaFontaine will always refuse to let hockey define his life. He knows there are greater highs than perfectly placed slap shots, understands there are worse tragedies than three-game winless streaks.
He also knows it is important to share that wisdom. The Hockey Hall of Famer and Buffalo Sabres legend visited Western New York over the weekend. As usual, he brought smiles, kind words and perspective.
“Hockey is a dream come true,” LaFontaine said. “You pinch yourself that you get to play at this level. It’s a privilege.
“But there’s so many things you learn along the way, people you meet and experiences, and I truly believe that everything you do in life prepares you for what you’re supposed to do next. You have to get to that point where you take those experiences and be proactive and say, “OK, I’ve learned this. I’ve gone through these situations. Now what can I do to use that and make a difference in someone else’s life?’ “
San Jose Sharks center Jeremy Roenick and Hockey Hall Of Famer Pat LaFontaine will be the guests on the NHL Hour today, hosted by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
The show is on from 4-5 p.m. ET today on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 204) and NHL.com. NHL Hour is an interactive talk radio show that is hosted by a rotation of League executives, and co-hosted by XM sports host and former NHL player Bill Clement.
*At show time, listen live at this link. While on the air, listeners can call into the show at 1-877-645-6696, or send questions/comments via this email address: email@example.com.
**Archived shows available for download via a podcast on NHL.com.
from Slap Shot at the NYT,
Anaheim Ducks General Manager Brian Burke said he asked the Islanders for a credential for Pat LaFontaine, a former Islander and Hall of Famer, so he could sit with him on Tuesday night when the Ducks played at Nassau Coliseum. But the Islanders would not grant him one. Burke said he reiterated his request as a personal favor and was again refused.