Louis Joseph “Leapin’ Louie” Fontinato was born on January 20, 1932, and died on July 3, 2016.
He was a defenceman in the National Hockey League with the New York Rangers from 1954 to 1961 and the Montreal Canadiens from 1961 to 1963.
His great nephew is current Florida Panther Greg McKegg.
Lou began his career with New York during the 1954-55 season.
During the next year, he led the NHL in penalty minutes, the highest total ever at that time.
Lou also led the league in that category in 1957-58 and 1961–62 (with Montreal).
As a player for the Rangers, Fontinato and Gordie Howe had a running feud that culminated in a fight at Madison Square Garden on February 1, 1959, in which Howe broke the nose and dislocated the jaw of “Leapin’ Lou”.
Eventually, he was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for Hall-of-Fame great Doug Harvey at the tail-end of his career. Fontinato’s career came to an abrupt and violent end in 1963 at the Montreal Forum when he missed a check on left-winger.
Lou Fontinato passed away at 84 years old.