Standing just five-foot-five inches tall and weighing in at a puny 155 pounds, Bobby Lalonde was constantly questioned about his size.
That's bound to happen when you are the smallest player in the league for his entire 11 year NHL career. But with his speed, his natural hockey instincts and most importantly the size of his heart Lalonde enjoyed a very successful 11-year NHL career with the Vancouver Canucks, Atlanta Flames, Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames.
Bobby played his junior hockey with the Montreal Junior Canadiens of the Ontario Hockey Association. He played three seasons with the Baby Habs, scoring 59 goals and 127 points in his final year of junior. This great season drew great comments from NHL scouts, but most shied away because of his lack of size. However the Vancouver Canucks were all to happy to select him 17th overall in the 1971 Amateur Draft. Any time an expansion team can add a speedy sniper with lots of heart it is a great move.
Lalonde made his NHL debut with Vancouver in 1971-72, picking up six points in 27 games, while spending the rest of the year apprenticing in the American Hockey League.
Bobby made the NHL on a full time basis by 1972-73. He spent the next 5 years with the Canucks, scoring 20 goals in 72-73, and reaching 47 or more points in 3 of those 5 years. Bobby loved playing in Vancouver, and the Canucks' fans really appreciated watching him for 5 years, even though he was never able to produce offensively like the Canucks brass had originally hoped. His speed electrified the Pacific Coliseum countless times, while his constant hustle earned him much respect.
Bobby and the Canucks parted ways in the summer of 1978. Bobby signed with another expansion team, the Atlanta Flames. He played two seasons in Georgia. He experienced his best individual season in a Flames jersey. In 1978-79 Bobby set career-highs with 24 goals and 56 points.
Just 3 games into his third season with Atlanta, Bobby found himself traded to Boston in exchange for future considerations. The Flames felt had improved their depth in the off-season and felt that Lalonde was expendable because of his size. Meanwhile in Boston Dwight Foster went down with an injury and they were in the market for a defensive forward. Bobby played two solid years in Boston, mostly in a penalty killing role.
The Bruins released Lalonde after the 1981 season. Bobby thought he had caught back on with his old team the Flames, who had since relocated to Calgary Alberta. However Lalonde only played in one game for the Calgary Flames. It proved to be Bobby's last NHL game. He appeared in 19 games in the minor leagues that season before heading overseas where he played in Switzerland.
Lalonde's career stats consist of 124 goals, 210 assists and 334 points in 641 games.