Looking Back At Pat Lafontaine HOF Induction/Islanders Night Honoring Him In 2003 & Media Coverage

New York Islander Fan Central | 4/04/2012 12:41:00 PM |

This would be an image of Pat Lafontine before the announcement of the New York Islanders playing the Rangers every year in what was Announced as a " Charity Challenge " in November of 2000.

The article came from Pat Lafontaine's Companions In Courage Website . Charles Wang, Charles Dolan are all quoted as to why they decided to do this.

Even Mr Kumar was in attendance.

Our point in this entry was to look back,  examine the media/Islander coverage for Lafontaine's HOF induction and specifically what the Isles did on Nov 8th 2003, to honor Lafontaine before a game with Atlanta.

Lafontaine was inducted, Monday, Nov 3rd, 2003 in Toronto.

For the first time since the closing of Islanders-Sound Tigers in 2006 changes have permitted New York Islander Fan Central to make available our complete archives, this includes the daily articles from newspapers in full when Pat Lafontaine was inducted and what coverage was provided November 2003  up to the induction and the Isles ceremony.

11/4/2003 Islander News Articles/Lafontaine Coverage

Our archives also include the Islanders website itself. 

To be completely transparent here for everyone. I found an old site out of business today to document the coverage separate of our archives to see if anything was missed here.

I also found something a little extra Companions In Courage's Newsletter detailing what happened on 11/8/2003 page 4 at the Nassau Coliseum.

Islanders Honor Newest Hall of Famer with “Night”

Among those joining LaFontaine and his family on the ice were Bill Torrey and Bob Nystrom. FoxSports’ Howie Rose emceed the event that included excerpts from LaFontaine’s Hall of Fame induction speech. The New York Islanders honored the newest member of the Hall of Fame – Pat LaFontaine – with a special night on November 8th at Nassau Coliseum.

Part of the pre-game event included a brief video retrospective of Patty’s career, along with a presentation on the charitable work that LaFontaine is performing with his Companions in Courage Foundation. The Coliseum crowd was treated to the debut of a video that was created by Display Presentations Ltd. that shows a walk-through of the completed “Lion’s Den” rooms.

Per LaFontaine’s request, there were no gifts presented to him. Rather, he asked that the night be used to present “a gift to the children of Long Island.” He wanted the night to focus on the building of a Lion’s Den room at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park. More than $20,000 was raised through the Islanders and the evening’s sponsor - JPMorganChase.

Andrew Parton of JPMorganChase presented Pat with a check for $10,000 toward the build-out of the room. He also noted that each fan in attendance was given a commemorative Pat LaFontaine puck.

“It’s in keeping with his reputation as a great humanitarian, that Pat would deflect the attention away from himself on ‘his’ night,” said Jim Johnson of the CiC Foundation. “It’s the way he’s conducted himself for the last 20 years.

Why should tonight be any different?”

Here was the " Skinny " on the Isles Website
LaFontaine Honored

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Pat LaFontaine was honored before the game.
Legendary Islander General Manager has the line of the night,
saying, "I drafted him, I signed him, I traded him." After the fans
booed, Torrey continued, "Two out of three's not bad."

LaFontaine's Honorable
Patty refused to accept any personal gifts in honor of his induction.
Both the Isles and Chase Bank donated $10,000 to his Champions in
Courage Foundation.

These were the articles on gameday 11/8/2003

Media Disgrace:
Islander News Articles 11/9/2003

NYIFC Comments: 
There were always questions from my end on the Isles retiring Lafontaine's jersey that day, obviously Lafontaine did not want any gifts. Did the Isles offer, or did Lafontaine turn that down?

We don't know.

Alan Hahn largely had other things to write about at Newsday.

Peter Botte did his usual lazy job and these days works much harder not covering the Isles beyond twitter insults. Evan Grossman from the Post I guess could not be bothered that day. Ron Dicker was the Times last full time beatwriter.

I thought folks would enjoy this.