April 14, 2016

Mike Lalor

Mike Lalor was nice defensive defenseman for 687 career NHL games in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Lalor's skating ability was the key to his game. He was a smooth skater, equally fluid going forward or backward. He had a nice touch of well-timed acceleration but his agility and lateral movement made him particularly outstanding.

He used his skating to angle attackers to the boards and out of trouble expertly. He could read the oncoming rush smartly, making him a regular on the penalty kill.

Lalor use his skating ability to take any offensive chances. It was rare that he rushed the puck out of the zone, instead relying on smart outlet passes. He impressively moved the puck very quickly and decisively, alleviating a lot of the forechecking pressure.

Defensively Lalor had good size and though he generally could handle himself against most of the NHL's big men, he was not really noted as a physical player. He was more likely to use his good reach to poke check and deflect pucks.

Lalor, a native of Buffalo, New York, was never drafted by a NHL team. The Montreal Canadiens signed him as a free agent out of the OHL in 1983.

After apprenticing two seasons in the American Hockey League, Lalor made the Canadiens roster in 1985. The highlight of his career was winning the Stanley Cup in 1986.

Lalor would go on to play in St. Louis, Washington, Winnipeg, San Jose and Dallas before retiring in 1997.

Lalor became a personal fitness instructor near Boston. He also coached youth hockey.

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