Hec J. Lalande (born November 24, 1934 in North Bay, Ontario) is a retired ice hockey centre. He played in 151 National Hockey League games, all but 12 with the Chicago Black Hawks. His most productive years were with the Clinton Comets when he had back-to-back 100-point seasons.
Minor league hockey
Lalande started out playing for the Belleville Bulls and Galt Black Hawks of the Ontario Hockey League Junior. He showed great promise as a playmaker and was quickly recognized by NHL scouts. In the middle of the 1953–54 season, Lalande was called up by Galt's parent team the Chicago Black Hawks to play two games. He didn't record a point but received two penalty minutes. He was sent back down to finish the season in Galt. The following season Lalande was again brought up to a higher league, this time with the Buffalo Bisons of the American Hockey League. He played three games but again failed to really impress and was returned to Galt. He finished out the season leading his team in points with 31 goals and 48 assists, putting him fifth in the league overall for points and fourth in the league in assists. He had finally caught the attention of Chicago and was brought up to play a permanent role with the Black Hawks for the 1955–56 season.
Playing in the NHL
Lalande played 65 games for Chicago that season and recorded 26 points. He would continue that pace the following season while playing with linemates Forbes Kennedy and Harry Watson. He also saw time with affiliate the Rochester Americans in 1956. During the 1957–58 season, Lalande played 22 games for Chicago before being traded to the Detroit Red Wings along with Nick Mickoski, Bob Bailey and Jack McIntyre for Bill Dineen, Billy Dea, Lorne Ferguson and Earl Reibel on December 17, 1957. In 12 games with the Red Wings, Lalande put up only two assists and was traded, four months after coming from Chicago, to the Hershey Bears of the AHL along with Don Poile and cash for Dunc Fisher on April 23, 1958.
The trade would turn out to be a blessing in disguise as Lalande would help lead the Bears to back-to-back Calder Cup Championships in 1957–58 and 1958–59. Lalande remained with the Bears for three more seasons, helping them to again reach the finals in 1960–61, eventually falling four games to none to the Springfield Indians. Lalande also played a single game for the Montreal Royals of the Eastern Professional Hockey League in a rehab stint in 1961. After scoring 57 points in the 1961–62 AHL season and leading the Bears to a 2nd round playoff appearance, Lalande decided to leave Hershey for the St. Louis Braves of the EPHL. Playing in only 26 games, Lalande scored 30 points and 57 PIMs.
For the 1963–64 season, Lalande joined the Clinton Comets of the Eastern Hockey League and put up his most impressive numbers to date. Lalande finished first on his team in points and second overall in the league in assists with 27 goals, 75 assists and 102 points on the season. Lalande was a driving force behind the Comets winning of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy and the James J. Walker Trophy. The following season, Lalande again put up big numbers with 31 goals and 69 assists for another 100-point season. In August 1965, Lalande was traded by Clinton to the Jersey Devils. Lalande would finish out his best playing days with Jersey scoring 61 points in three seasons with the club. After two games into the 1967–68 season, Lalande joined the Ontario Hockey Association to play for the senior Belleville Mohawks and would retire from ice hockey after scoring 17 points in his last 28 games.
Awards and achievements
- Calder Cup Champion:1957–58, 1958–59 (Hershey Bears - AHL)
- Atlantic City Boardwalk Trophy Winner:1963–64 (Clinton Comets - EHL)
- James J. Walker Trophy Winner:1963–64 (Clinton Comets - EHL)