Lou Fontinato, a defenseman who played nine seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens, died Sunday. He was 84.
Born in Guelph, Ontario and a winner of the Memorial Cup with the Guelph Biltmores of the Ontario Hockey League, Fontinato was one of the most penalized players in the NHL; his 202 penalty minutes with the Rangers in 1955-56 were the League's highest total ever at the time.
On Feb. 1, 1959 at Madison Square Garden, Fontinato sustained a broken nose and dislocated jaw during a fight with Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe.
Traded to the Canadiens for Hall of Famer Doug Harvey on June 14, 1961, Fontinato's career ended two years later when he sustained a neck injury after missing a check on Rangers left wing Vic Hadfield. He finished with 26 goals, 104 points and 1,247 penalty minutes in 535 NHL games.
Fontinato's great nephew is Florida Panthers forward Greg McKegg.