André Lacroix
Position Centre
Shot Left
Nickname(s) "The Magician"
5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
175 lb (80 kg)
Teams Philadelphia Flyers
Chicago Black Hawks
Philadelphia Blazers
New York Golden Blades
New Jersey Knights
San Diego Mariners
Houston Aeros
New England Whalers
Hartford Whalers
Nationality Flag of Canada Canadian
Born June 5 1945 (1945-06-05) (age 74),
Lauzon, PQ, CAN
Pro Career 1964 – 1980

André Joseph Lacroix (born June 5, 1945, in Lauzon, Quebec) is a retired professional ice hockey player in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association, and is the WHA's all-time leading career scorer.

Playing careerEdit

A centre notable for his playmaking, penalty-killing and faceoff skill, Lacroix played his junior hockey for the Peterborough Petes, leading the league in assists in both the 1964–65 and 1965–66 seasons and in points the latter season. He then played two seasons for the minor-league Quebec Aces of the AHL, playing brilliantly in the 1968 season before being recalled by the Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL in the spring of 1968. Paired on a forward line with fellow ex-Quebec wingers Jean-Guy Gendron and Simon Nolet, he was an immediate star, leading the Flyers in scoring in both 1969 and 1970.

After the 1971 season Lacroix was traded to the Chicago Black Hawks, and dismayed at the change of scenery, played poorly the next year. However, in the fall of 1972, the upstart World Hockey Association began play, and he lost no chance to return to Philadelphia and sign with the league's Philadelphia Blazers franchise. Despite the team going through much tumult and controversy, Lacroix was an immediate star for the squad, leading the WHA in points that season with a 50–74–124 mark.

However, in the offseason, the franchise was transferred to Vancouver, and Lacroix was traded to an even shakier team, the New York Golden Blades for the 1974 season. Again, despite tumult that caused the team to be moved to New Jersey mid-season and payrolls to be missed, he was a standout, leading the WHA in assists with 80. That fall, Lacroix was named to Team Canada for the 1974 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, scoring one goal and six assists in eight games to be the team's second leading scorer.

The New York-New Jersey team moved yet again for the 1975 to California to become the San Diego Mariners, and Lacroix continued his success. In that first season in San Diego, he achieved his second league scoring title and racked up 106 assists, the professional record at the time and the only player other than Bobby Orr who had ever reached 100 assists in a single season. Lacroix scored over 100 points the next two seasons with the Mariners as well, before the franchise folded.

He continued to star in two more seasons before the end of the WHA, for the Houston Aeros in 1978 and the New England Whalers in 1979. His skills diminishing at last, Lacroix played briefly and respectably for the Whalers after their move to the NHL in the 1980 season before retiring.

Lacroix has been involved with hockey since retiring, creating the André Lacroix Power Hockey Academy and was the Director of hockey programs at the Oakland Ice Centre until 2005.

Career records and achievementsEdit

  • 79 goals and 119 assists for 198 points in 325 games in the NHL.
  • 251 goals and 547 assists for 798 points in 551 games in the WHA.
  • Named to the WHA's First All-Star Team in 1973, 1974 and 1975.
  • Won the Bill Hunter Trophy as the WHA's leading scorer in 1973 and 1975.
  • Scored one hundred points or more in six consecutive seasons, a mark achieved by only six other major professional players.
  • The WHA's all-time leader in games played, assists (by nearly two hundred) and points (by over a hundred).
  • Fourth all-time in WHA history in goals scored.

External linksEdit

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