Did he ever rise to the occasion. Six straight seasons of 50 or more goals, including 60 in 1977-78. And back in his two junior years with the Quebec Remparts, he racked up 103 and 130 markers respectively. He was hockey’s marquee attraction, both in junior and the bigs. He was Wayne Gretzky before Wayne Gretzky (with apologies to Bossy, Dionne, Perreault et al).
Remember about 15 years ago when Lafleur was a spokesman for Viagra? Just an excellent choice. He was tremendous at getting it up (over a sprawling goaltender), rarely fired blanks (560 regular season goals and 7983 assists in 1127 games), and always played hard.
He was a guy who walked softly but carried a big stick (sometimes Koho, sometimes Louisville, or Sher-Wood, or Chimo), and we would see him wind up for the big shot or use his great wrist action as he terrorized opposing goalies and who often put the game to bed almost single-handedly.
Sometimes Lafleur would sulk because he couldn’t get a raise (he once threatened to sit out a game in Toronto during a money dispute), he felt he wasn’t loved and was getting the shaft, and would say that nobody was going to screw him. He threatened to not perform, basically telling his team, “Not tonight, I’ve got a headache.”
But in the end, Le Démon Blond, despite all the ins and outs, would come through magnificently. And being a hard-core smoker throughout most of his career, you can be sure he enjoyed a nice smoke after an evening of using his stick.
Flower was a hard man to keep down, that’s for sure.
He was an excellent choice for Viagra.