Time will tell whether the fans at the ACC will start calling "LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-CA" or not (my guess is that they will - these things don't take a lot of prompting), but today's LotD got a lot of that. His time here was pretty short, but pretty memorable.
Lou Franceschetti was picked up from Washington in mid-summer 1989. It wasn't really a deal that garnered a lot of attention. Franceschetti, a Toronto kid, was basically an energy guy with Washington and we really didn't see Washington all that often. The Leafs were still in the Norris and the Caps weren't really on the radar.
1989-90, though, was that run and gun year with a team that could hit, fight, score, crash and bang and really do absolutely everything other than keep the puck out of their own net. They were a ton of fun to watch and one of the big fun-bringers was Lou Franceschetti.
Lou wasn't on any of the top lines, but epitomizing the "anyone can burn you" aspect of that team, he put in a career-high 21 goals and 36 points off the third/fourth lines. The fans loved him. He'd hit, skate, fight some and scored more than anyone ever expected. It was a natural. "LOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU" rang down from the Gardens' rafters with regularity.
As Leaf fans, we hoped that the 20-goal season was the start of something special and that he'd be able to repeat it, but when the Leaf scoring machine died in 1990-91, Lou was hit as hard as anyone. (Now, had we really looked at it, a 27.6% shooting percentage was probably unsustainable....) After 16 games, a broken foot that certainly didn't help and just two points, Lou was sent to Buffalo in a December deal. Brian Curran, just called up from the farm, joined him in a trade for future OT hero Mike Foligno.
|1975-76||Toronto Young Nationals||OHA-B||17||12||11||23||27|
|1975-76||St. Catharines Black Hawks||OMJHL||1||0||0||0||0|
|1976-77||Niagara Falls Flyers||OMJHL||61||23||30||53||80|
|1977-78||Niagara Falls Flyers||OMJHL||62||40||50||90||46|
|1978-79||Port Huron Flags||IHL||76||45||58||103||131||7||3||10||13||20|
|1979-80||Port Huron Flags||IHL||15||3||8||11||31|
|1989-90||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||80||21||15||36||127||-12||5||0||1||1||26|
|1990-91||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||16||1||1||2||30||-2|
|1991-92||New Haven Nighthawks||AHL||25||6||7||13||59|
|1994-95||HC Selva Val Gardena||Italy-2|
- Traded to Toronto by Washington for Toronto's 5th round choice (Mark Ouimet) in 1990 Entry Draft, June 29, 1989.
- Traded to Buffalo by Toronto with Brian Curran for Mike Foligno and Buffalo's 8th round choice (Tomas Kucharcik) in 1991 Entry Draft, December 17, 1990.
- Played w/ RHI's Toronto Planets in 1993 (5-2-4-6-16), Buffalo Stampede in 1995 (10-2-9-11-9) and Buffalo Wings in 1998 (1-0-0-0-0).
The HHOF take on Lou:
Hearing the name Lou Franceschetti brings to mind such words as "work ethic," "physical play," "checking," "fighting," "creating havoc"?all tools of a trade that kept him employed in pro hockey for 18 seasons and counting.
He began his pro career with the Washington Capitals organization who picked him up from the Niagara Falls Flyers of the OHA in 1979. Before finally making his debut with the Caps in 1981-82, Franceschetti apprenticed in the IHL and the AHL for three seasons.
Over his eight years with Washington, he made frequent trips to the minors, skating for the Hershey Bears, the Binghamton Whalers, and the Baltimore Skipjacks.
Franceschetti's most productive season came when he put on a Leafs jersey in 1989-90, scoring 23 goals and 15 assists. From then on, though, his output waned as he completed his NHL career with the Buffalo Sabres in 1991.
And although his big-league days are through, Franceschetti continues to be a well-traveled man around the world of hockey. Since 1992, he has played and coached in New Haven, Rochester, Jacksonville, Detroit, Minnesota, London and Nashville. He has also tried his hand at roller hockey, playing for the Toronto Planets and coaching the Phoenix Cobras and the Buffalo Stampede of the Roller Hockey International League.