Four birthdays today: former Checker Garry Lacey, IHL Ice Tom Karalis and Alain Lemieux, and CHL Ice Doug Altschul.
Happy birthday to ...
Garry Lacey: Left wing who played 76 games for the Checkers as a professional rookie in 1984-85. He had 17 goals and 21 assists that season. He also played the following season for the Islanders' IHL affiliate in Springfield before moving back to Ontario to play senior hockey. He was the Islanders' third-round pick in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, and scored 41 goals for Toronto in his final year of junior in 1983-84. A native of Falconbridge, Ont., he is 50.
Tom Karalis: Defenseman who played 26 games for the Ice in 1988-89, totaling eight assists and spending 132 minutes in the penalty box. Karalis played 13 minor pro seasons from 1985-98, playing in the AHL and IHL through 1992, and from there, splitting time between the CHL and leagues in France, Britain, Austria and Germany. A native of Montreal, he is 50.
Alain Lemieux: Center who was a high-scoring forward for the Ice in 1988-89. Joining the team midway through the season, he tallied 18 goals and 26 assists in just 29 games. A fifth-round pick by the Blues in 1980, he played much of the early part of his career in St. Louis, and played 119 NHL games between 1982-87 with the Blues and Nordiques, and one game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. There, he got a chance to play alongside his younger brother Mario, who would later lead the Penguins to two Stanley Cups as a player and one more as an owner. He was also a high-scoring minor pro, with 41-goal seasons in the CHL in 1982, and the AHL in 1987. He retired after the 1991 season, but came back to play eight games in the WCHL in 1997-98. He also was the head coach for two different ECHL teams between 1999-2001. He is currently in Pittsburgh, where he is part-owner of an ice rink. A native of Montreal, he is 53.
Doug Altschul: Left wing who played two games for the Ice in 1999-2000. He played parts of eight minor pro seasons in the UHL, CHL, ECHL and WPHL, totaling 59 games and three goals from 1998-2006. A native of Chicago, he is 40.