Rick Lapointe was a mobile defenceman with a good shot from the point who could also play an abrasive style in his own zone. He played nearly 700 games for five clubs in an NHL career that spanned eleven years.
Born in Victoria, B.C., Lapointe played in the BCJHL with the Nanaimo Clippers before excelling on the WHL's Victoria Cougars. In 1974-75 he scored 70 points in 67 games, represented Canada at the World Junior Championships, and was taken fifth overall by the Detroit Red Wings at the Amateur Draft. He was also named to the first all-star units in the WCJHL and the World Junior tourney. The scouts were impressed with the youngster's playmaking ability and willingness to play aggressively in his own zone.
Lapointe was solid during his first two years with the mediocre Wings. After a trade to the Philadelphia Flyers in February 1977, he settled into a more defensive role and put up excellent plus/minus numbers. Prior to the 1979-80 season, Lapointe was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for Blake Dunlop. He solidified the club's blueline but was traded to the Quebec Nordiques for veteran forward Pat Hickey in August 1982.
The veteran spent more of his time with the Nord's AHL farm team. In 1983-84, he was a standout on the Fredericton Express and named to the league's first all-star team. Lapointe was a veteran role player on the L.A. Kings for two seasons before retiring in 1986.