Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Mario Lessard
After a brilliant start to his NHL career, netminder Mario Lessard's play dropped off and he only ended up lasting parts of six seasons. His finest years came in the early 1980s when he was one of the top goalies in the league for the L.A. Kings.

Lessard played junior with the QMJHL's Sherbrooke Castors. He was taken 154th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 1974 and was dispatched to the IHL"s Saginaw Gears to work on his game. In all, the young goalie improved his technique and stamina by playing 226 games in four minor pro seasons. After posting a 3.47 goals against average in 44 games for the Saginaw Gears in 1976-77, Lessard was placed on the IHL's first all-star team. The next year he was voted on to the second team in the AHL after posting 30 wins for the Springfield Indians.

The talented backstopper recorded four shutouts and 23 wins as a rookie with L.A. in 1978-79. His play dropped off a bit the next year but he still notched 18 victories. Lessard's big season was 1980-81 when he posted a 3.25 goals against mark and led all NHL goalies with 35 wins. His effort was rewarded as he was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game and was voted to the NHL second all-star team. During the fall, he was chosen as an alternate on the host country's Canada Cup squad.

Beginning in 1981-82, Lessard's career began to decline. His goals against average rose to 4.36 and he recorded only 13 wins. He reduced to a part time player the next two years and retired in 1984.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP W L T SO Avg GP W L T SO Avg
1969-70 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 15 3 5 0 0 6.76
1970-71
1971-72 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 21 7 8 1 2 4.19 3 0 3 0 0 10.79
1972-73 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 40 14 16 2 0 4.48 6 4 2 0 0 3.98
1973-74 Sherbrooke Castors QMJHL 44 19 17 0 0 4.88 4 1 3 0 0 6.00
1974-75 Saginaw Gears IHL 59 4 3.22 17 10 7 0 2 3.78
1975-76 Saginaw Gears IHL 62 3 3.38 12 7 5 0 1 2.58
1976-77 Fort Worth Texans CHL 4 1 3 0 0 3.44
1976-77 Saginaw Gears IHL 44 0 3.47 18 12 6 0 1 2.95
1977-78 Springfield Indians AHL 57 30 19 6 1 3.71 4 1 3 0 1 2.51
1978-79 Los Angeles Kings NHL 49 23 15 10 4 3.10 2 0 2 0 3.81
1979-80 Los Angeles Kings NHL 50 18 22 7 0 3.91 4 1 2 0 4.06
1980-81 Los Angeles Kings NHL 64 35 18 11 2 3.25 4 1 3 0 5.45
1981-82 Los Angeles Kings NHL 52 13 28 8 2 4.36 10 4 5 0 4.22
1982-83 Los Angeles Kings NHL 19 3 10 2 1 4.59
1982-83 Birmingham South Stars CHL 8 4 2 0 0 4.15 11 6 3 0 0 3.30
1983-84 Los Angeles Kings NHL 6 0 4 1 0 5.86
1983-84 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 5 1 3 1 0 5.77
NHL Totals 240 92 97 39 9 3.73 20 6 12 0 4.38


IHL First All-Star Team (1977)
AHL Second All-Star Team (1978)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1981) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1981)
Recorded shutout (6-0) in NHL debut vs. Buffalo, October 26, 1978.
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