Monday, July 18, 2011

Lou Franceschetti

Lou Franceschetti made himself a good living as a hard working third or fourth line player His game was based on total heart and dedication, not necessarily skill.

"I was somebody that was going to go out and create a little bit of energy for your teammates, create a little bit of havoc and just want to keep the other guys on the other team honest at all times knowing that when I was out there I was there to make things happen and the game could get a little physical," he said.

Franceschetti was drafted 71st overall in the 1978 Amateur Draft by the Washington Capitals, the team he spent the majority of his career with. More accurately he split most of his career between the American capital and the American league. In fact he spent 3 full seasons in the minor league level before finally getting a shot at a taste of NHL life in 1981-82, when he appeared in 30 games. But Lou would spend most of his season in the minors. The next three seasons were almost carbon copies of 1981-82. Solid minor league season hi-lighted with a peppering of NHL action.

Lou finally made the Caps on a full time basis in 1984-85 when the 6' 200lb right winger participated in 76 NHL games. He would be a mainstay on Washington's right wing for the next three seasons with the exception of 16 minor league games. He was never much of a goal scorer or playmaker, but he was a fan favorite as they loved to chant his name. He was a valued fourth line plumber, which is quite fitting considering he supplemented his minor league income by working as a plumber during the off-seasons.

In the summer of 1989 the Caps traded Franceschetti to Toronto in exchange for a draft pick. Lou surprisingly exploded in his first season with the Leafs, scoring 21 goals and 36 points, both career highs, in 80 games.

Lou would be traded to Buffalo 16 games into the 1990-91 season, but he struggled terribly with the Sabres, scoring just once in 35 games. To make matters worse, Lou faced the pressure of knowing the Sabres traded Mike Foligno - one of the all-time favourites in Buffalo in order to get him and defenseman Brian Curran.

Aside from 1 game during the 1991-92 season with Buffalo, Lou would played 5 years of minor league hockey before retiring in 1996. He would later become involved in Roller Hockey International, including competing for the Buffalo Stampede and Buffalo Wings.

Lou played hard and with good speed. His determination and willingness to sacrifice impressed all. He used his body effectively as he hit purposefully rather than recklessly. A good and willing fighter, Lou left the NHL with career totals of 59 goals and 141 points in 459 regular season games.

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