As part of the NHL Centennial Celebration, renowned Canadian artist Tony Harris will paint original portraits of each of the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian as chosen by a Blue Ribbon panel. NHL.com will reveal two portraits each Monday in 2017.
This week, the portraits of forwards Pat LaFontaine and Marcel Dionne are unveiled in the 11th installment.LaFontaine, who played eight seasons with the New York Islanders, six with the Buffalo Sabres and one with the New York Rangers, is the fifth-highest United States-born goal scorer in NHL history, with 468 goals in 865 games.
In his NHL100 profile on LaFontaine, author Kevin Allen says he was an inspiration for American hockey’s greatest generation.
“LaFontaine, a 2003 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, is considered a member of American hockey’s greatest generation, a contemporary of players like Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick, Bill Guerin, Mike Richter, Keith Tkachuk. But he also served as an inspiration for them because he was establishing himself as an American star when they were at impressionable ages.
When LaFontaine broke into the NHL, Tkachuk was 11, Guerin was 13 and Roenick 14.”
Harris said he was hoping to capture two aspects of LaFontaine’s game in his portrait.
“I was always fascinated that Pat LaFontaine grew up in the U.S. but came to Quebec to play junior hockey, putting him on the Canadian hockey radar at an early age,” he said. “My hope for this portrait was to demonstrate the agility and speed with which he played.”