Jack Laviolette's family moved to Valleyfield, Quebec where he took up the sports of hockey and lacrosse at an early age. He began his organized hockey career in the Montreal City League and moved to the Montreal Nationals of the Federal Amateur Hockey League in 1904, finishing sixth in league scoring with eight goals in six games. He moved to the Michigan Soo Indians of the International Hockey League the following season where he scored 40 goals over three seasons and was named to the IHL First All-Star Team in 1905 and 1907 along with a being made a Second Team selection in 1906.
He returned to Montreal in the fall of 1907 to play for the Shamrocks of the Eastern Canadian Amateur Hockey Association for two seasons before joining the National Hockey Association's Montreal Canadiens in their inaugural season of 1909-10. Ambrose O'Brien owned the Canadiens at the time and named Laviolette as a playing manager (team captain) for that season.
Laviolette played on his only Stanley Cup winning team in 1915-16 when the Canadiens defeated the Portland Rosebuds 3-2 in a best-of-five series hosted by Montreal. The series marked the first time that an American-based team had played for the Cup. Jack Laviolette played for two more seasons before an off-season accident ended his hockey career.
While tuning a car for a planned tour of Quebec in the spring of 1918, Laviolette crashed and lost his right foot in the mishap. His playing days were over. A benefit game for Jack was arranged at the Mount Royal Arena during the winter of 1921. Not only was he the guest of honour but he also refereed the game.
He was later inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame as a lacrosse player. Jack Laviolette was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962.