leapin’ lou

Ruffian Ranger: Born in Guelph, Ontario, on a Wednesday of this date in 1932, Lou Fontinato was renowned for … well, if you know anything about his nine seasons in the NHL, mostly with the Rangers, finally with Canadiens, you know that he excelled at goading, inciting, shedding his gloves, punching, being punched. “He’s eager, he’s tough as nails,” said Muzz Patrick, his GM with the New York Rangers in the 1950s. “A hockey writer out west once said, ‘Fontinato is possessed of a violent refusal to lose.’” Fans loved him, and it was often reported, too, what a great guy he was, despite the violence he perpetrated. “A sweetheart — away from the rink,” Stan Fischler once advised. Lou Fontinato died in 2016 at the age of 84.