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Lapointe sets sights on becoming Alouettes’ owner

Eric Lapointe, shown during a 2013 ceremony on the Mount Allison campus, is considered the greatest football player to ever don the Garnet and Gold.
Eric Lapointe, shown during a 2013 ceremony on the Mount Allison campus, is considered the greatest football player to ever don the Garnet and Gold. - Contributed

Former Mountie remembered for outstanding skill, modesty

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

Eric Lapointe, the greatest football player ever to wear the garnet and gold at Mount Allison University, may be eyeing a future as a CFL owner.

Success has followed Lapointe at every turn. After starring with the Mounties for four years, he went on to play 10 seasons in the CFL for three teams – Hamilton, Toronto and Montreal. Then, he launched into a highly-successful and lucrative business career, to the point now where he may become a major owner of the Montreal Alouettes.

The Mountie superstar, who set a season rushing record of 1,619 yards and occasionally racked up more than 300 yards in a single contest, was drafted by Edmonton Eskimos in 1999 but ended up in Hamilton where he helped the Tiger Cats win a Grey Cup by being the leading rusher in the finale. Later, he was traded to the Toronto Argonauts, but as the team was in disarray, he found himself back home in Montreal where he soon donned another Grey Cup ring and enjoyed a fine career.

Following retirement, Lapointe headed up the Alouette alumni and has been instrumental in assisting with funding for the Mounties.

Currently, he is a managing director of Stonegate Private Counsel in Montreal where he deals with high net-worth entrepreneurs.

For years the Alouettes were a dominant force in the CFL, boasting some of the most outstanding players in the nation. From 1991 to 2012 they were the “Yankees” of the CFL, but it has been downhill since and over the past four seasons they have gone 21-51.

American owner Robert Wetenhal has hinted from time to time he might like to unload this part of his portfolio and Lapointe said earlier he might be interested in becoming a part owner.

Most recently he said if team management approached him he could very quickly create a consortium that would be prepared to buy the franchise and operate it for years to come.

Should this come to pass, fans can be assured there will be changes, as Eric Lapointe has never been a loser and has no intention of becoming one. There would be instant shakeups by the Canadian Football Hall of Fame star who launched his long and successful career as a Mountie and has never looked back.

From Day 1 in Sackville, Lapointe was the franchise of the Mounties. He not only broke all AUS rushing records but exhibited a personality that was infectious. In spite of his outstanding athleticism, he demonstrated a modesty that was contagious, and was also a leader that had much to do with the Mounties success during his four years (1995-1998).

He racked up one award after another – Canadian rookie of the year in 1995, Hec Creighton winner as the most outstanding player in Canadian university football in 1996 and 1998. And, he was voted the greatest athlete ever to compete in university football in Canada in a national poll. In a recap of the findings it was stated Lapointe completed his heroics when everybody – fans, officials and opposing players – knew he would have the ball.

Off the field, he was friendly and approachable.

And Eric proved himself when he was taken to Salem School by a youthful Wray Perkin in a show-and-tell day and was an instant hit with both the kids and the staff. And Wray remains one of his closest friends to this day, as do both John and Dodie Perkin.

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