Guy Lafleur, five-time Stanley cup winner, dies at 70

  • November 25, 2023

Guy Lafleur, the dynamic, freewheeling wing who helped lead the dynastic Montreal Canadiens to five Stanley Cup championships inside the 1970s, consisting of four in a row, died on Friday near Montreal. He became 70.

The Canadiens introduced his loss of life but did now not provide a motive. A cigarette smoker throughout his gambling career, Lafleur have been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Lafleur turned into a magician on ice, an innovative pressure who should deftly break up defenses. He was the first participant in national Hockey League records to score at least 50 goals and 100 factors in six consecutive seasons — a streak that became crowned via the 136 points (56 desires and 80 assists) he totaled in the 1977-78 season.

He gathered 560 dreams and 793 assists over 17 seasons, 14 of them with the Canadiens, one with the big apple Rangers and two with the Quebec Nordiques. He gained the artwork Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring three instances, and the Hart Memorial Trophy twice, because the N.H.L.’s maximum treasured participant. He became inducted into the Hockey corridor of repute in 1988. top Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada wrote on Twitter that Lafleur “changed into not like all people else at the ice,” adding, “His speed, talent and scoring were tough to accept as true with.”

Lafleur’s death comes every week after that of any other terrific scorer, Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders.

An entire obituary may be published shortly.

Montreal Canadiens icon man Lafleur, who captured five Stanley Cup titles and became a hockey hero in Quebec lengthy earlier than his NHL playing days, has died. He became 70.

The motive of demise turned into not without delay recognized. but, Lafleur suffered via health troubles within the latter levels of his life. In September 2019, he underwent quadruple skip heart surgical operation, which become observed via lung surgical operation months later.

Then, in October of 2020, he persisted a recurrence of lung cancer.

“We are deeply saddened to research of the dying of man Lafleur. All individuals of the Canadiens agency are devastated through his passing,” Canadiens President Geoff Molson said in a statement.

“Man, Lafleur had a super career and continually remained simple, available, and close to the Habs and hockey fans in Quebec, Canada and round the arena. for the duration of his profession, he allowed us to enjoy exquisite moments of collective pride. He turned into one of the finest players in our company even as turning into a top-notch ambassador for our sport.”

Quebec is in talks with the circle of relatives of Lafleur to hold a countrywide funeral for the Montreal Canadiens legend, finest François Legault introduced at an information conference Friday.

for many years, Lafleur — nicknamed “The Flower” — scored seemingly conveniently at all ranges of hockey and grew into the function of certainly one of the sport’s flashiest superstars. He frequently mesmerized enthusiasts with his signature long blond hair flowing behind him as he rushed up the ice earlier than unleashing one in all his patented booming slapshots.

through his tenth birthday, there were already signs and symptoms that Lafleur turned into a generational skill, skating circles round youngsters three years his senior at an international peewee hockey tournament in Quebec City.

Lafleur performed junior hockey for the Quebec Jr. Aces and Quebec Remparts. He collected an incredible 465 factors in seasons and two playoffs with the Remparts, leading the crew to the Memorial Cup name in 1971.

That yr., Lafleur set the Quebec important Junior Hockey League normal-season file of one hundred thirty desires, which become eclipsed by way of another French hockey prodigy, Mario Lemieux (133), inside the 1983-84 campaign.


Being drafted via Canadiens changed into fitting

man, Damien Lafleur become born on Sept. 20, 1951, in Thursa, Que., a small town inside the western part of the province, and grew up idolizing Canadiens brilliant Jean Béliveau.

So, it became fitting he made his debut for the Montreal Canadiens within the 1971-72 season, taking the torch from his hero handiest months after Béliveau wrapped his profession by using skating off the ice as a Stanley Cup champion for the 10th time within the spring of 1971.

Lafleur’s arrival in Montreal, like his departure years later, became arguable. well-known supervisor Sam Pollock made a cope with the California Golden Seals to move up within the NHL draft to choose Lafleur, passing on every other pretty touted French Canadian, Marcel Dionne.

Dionne outscored Lafleur of their rookie seasons, main some lovers to assume Pollock had made a mistake in selecting Lafleur. however, the critics sponsored off by 1973 as Lafleur hoisted his first Stanley Cup with the franchise.

All doubt became erased inside the 1974-75 season while Lafleur broke out together with his first of six consecutive seasons with as a minimum 50 goals and 100 factors.

He dominated the latter half of the last decade, leading the Habbs to four consecutive Stanley Cup titles from 1976 to 1979, and won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most precious participant two times all through that length. He additionally captured the 1977 Conn Smythe Trophy because the playoff MVP.

His scoring prowess turned into so dominating inside the past due ’70s that legendary Hockey night time in Canada broadcaster Dick Irvin Jr. called him the greatest player in the world.

Lafleur transcended the sport no matter his known habit of smoking cigarettes. Former instruct Scotty Bowman said he could even smoke among durations.

“He’d smoke in the [hotel] room, however constantly inside the bathroom,” said former Quebec Nordiques teammate Joe Sakic. “I advised him he did not need to do that. I mean, I used to be in awe of him.”

On March 24, 1981, Lafleur barely escaped a fatal crash after smashing his Cadillac into a motorway fence while riding domestic. A signpost smashed through the windshield, missing his head via inches. Minor plastic surgical treatment become needed to restore his right ear lobe.

Lafleur’s dating with Canadiens control commenced to bitter in the Nineteen Eighties. He was requested to rein in his unfastened-wheeling style of play in Favour of an extra protective style by hall of fame linemate and then instruct Jacques Lemaire. After the team refused to fulfill his demand for a change, he greatly surprised the hockey international whilst, at handiest 33 years antique, he all at once announced his retirement weeks into the 1984 season.

For the next 3 years, Lafleur typically only played publicly in charity hockey events, and he was inducted into the Hockey corridor of fame in 1988.

NHL go back

That identical year, the big apple Rangers fashionable manager Phil Esposito convinced him to pop out of retirement and return to the NHL. Lafleur played a season in big apple, highlighted through a -goal performance at the fabled Montreal forum, ensuing in an extraordinary status ovation for an opposing participant. He then performed two more years along with his homeland Quebec Nordiques before calling it a profession for a second and final time following the 1991 season.

at the time, Lafleur became best the second one participant in league records, after Gordie Howe, to return to the NHL as a participant after being inducted into the hall of fame. In his put up-gambling career, Lafleur became an ambassador for the Montreal Canadiens and installed the guy Lafleur Award of Excellence, a prize given yearly to the pinnacle student-athlete hockey participant within the province of Quebec.

within the late 2000s, Lafleur become in the headlines for non-hockey motives.

Lafleur testified in 2007 at a bail hearing for his son Mark and became the difficulty of an arrest warrant in 2008 for allegedly giving contradictory testimony. He turned into found responsible in 2009 before the conviction become overturned on attraction a year later.

nowadays his statue stands out of doors Montreal’s Bell Centre arena alongside Canadiens all-time greats Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard and Béliveau. His No. 10 hangs inside the rafters of the arena after being retired on Feb. 16, 1985. at the time it became the sixth wide variety retired by means of the Canadiens franchise.

Lafleur continues to be the Canadiens’ record holder for points (1,246), assists (728) and game-prevailing goals (94).

He became named No. 11 on the listing of the NHL’s 100 all-time greatest players by using the Hockey information in 1998. Lafleur changed into additionally named one of the 100 finest gamers by the NHL as a part of its centennial birthday celebration in 2017.

Lafleur is survived by means of his two sons, Mark and Martin, and his wife, Lise.

Montreal Canadiens icon and Hockey corridor of Famer guy Lafleur died at age 70, the crew announced on Friday.

“We are deeply saddened to study of the dying of man Lafleur. All individuals of the Canadiens enterprise are devastated by using his passing,” stated Geoff Molson, President of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey membership.

“Guy Lafleur had a terrific career and usually remained easy, reachable, and close to the Habbs and hockey fans in Quebec, Canada and around the sector. during his profession, he allowed us to revel in incredible moments of collective pride. He became one of the greatest gamers in our organization at the same time as becoming a superb ambassador for our sport.”

In September 2019, Lafleur underwent emergency pass surgical treatment after a routine checkup revealed he had four nearly absolutely blocked coronary arteries, according to whilst present process the emergency skip, surgeons detected lung most cancers and he might have one-0.33 of his proper lung eliminated months later. The most cancers reappeared in October 2021.

Lafleur, nicknamed “The Flower,” became a 5-time Stanley Cup champion with the Canadiens. The Habbs decided on Lafleur with the No. 1 choose in the 1971 amateur Draft because the pinnacle junior participant in Canada with the Quebec Remparts.

Lafleur scored 1,353 factors (560 desires, 793 assists) in 1,126 profession NHL games with the Canadiens, Rangers and Quebec Nordiques. between 1974-75 and 1979-80, the Canadian scored at least 50 desires in six directly seasons and gained the Stanley Cup 4 consecutive times with the Canadiens from 1976-seventy-nine after having won it 1973.

“You didn’t need to see guy Lafleur’s name and number on his sweater whilst ‘The Flower’ had the percent on his stick. As distinctively fashionable as he turned into remarkably gifted, Lafleur reduce a dashing and unmistakable discern each time he blazed down the ice of the Montreal discussion board, his lengthy blond locks flowing in his wake as he prepared to rifle another percent past a helpless goaltender — or installation a linemate for a purpose,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a declaration on Friday.

In his career, Lafleur received the art Ross Trophy as the main scorer inside the NHL and the Ted Lindsay Award — voted as the maximum fantastic player by way of the NHL gamers association — in 1976, 1977 and 1978. He changed into also awarded the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP two times and turned into enshrined into the Hockey corridor of reputation in 1988.

The Canadiens and NHL network are mourning the lack of every other hockey legend after guy Lafleur’s family announced Friday that the Canadiens wonderful has died after a conflict with lung most cancers. He was 70 years antique.

Lafleur have been recognized with cancer in October of 2020 and fought through it for 31 months privately.

Nicknamed “The Flower” by way of his English-speak me fanatics and “Le Demon Blond” via the French speakers, the forward played 17 seasons within the NHL, 14 of those coming with the Canadiens, with the Nordiques and one with the Rangers.

The Canadiens made him the No. 1 general pick out inside the 1971 NHL Draft and he helped the team to 5 Stanley Cups during the 1970s, consisting of prevailing the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP in 1977 after he led the postseason with 26 factors in 14 games.

Lafleur have become the primary participant in NHL history to score 50 desires in six consecutive seasons similarly to 50 dreams and a hundred points in six instantly seasons. at some stage in that sensational run from 1974-75 season to the 1979-eighty season, he led the NHL in scoring 3 times and led the league in goals once.

in addition to the Stanley Cups and the Conn Smythe, Lafleur ended his profession with 3 artwork Ross Trophies, Hart Trophies, three Lester B. Pearson Awards (now known as the Ted Lindsay Award) and six All-celebrity alternatives.

but maximum stunning are his profession marks in Canadiens records. The storied franchise has had some of greats play in Montreal like Jean Beliveau and Maurice Richard. however, Lafleur is the franchise’s all-time leader in factors (1,246), assists (728), recreation-prevailing dreams (94), pictures (three,204) and assists per recreation (0.76). he’s second all-time in dreams with 518, sitting only at the back of Richard.

The local of Thursa, Quebec, had his No. 10 jersey retired by the Canadiens in 1985 and become inducted into the Hockey corridor of fame in 1988 and the Canadian sports activities hall of reputation in 1996. He became one of the most unique players to watch for the duration of his time, with his golden hair whipping through the wind as he raced up and down the ice. Lafleur is going down in records as one of the finest gamers to ever take the NHL ice.

NHL reactions to guy Lafleur’s death

Former gamers, teammates and media employees took to social media to react to the passing of the Canadiens legend.

Guy Lafleur, five-time Stanley Cup champion with Montreal Canadiens, dies at 70

April 22 (Reuters) – guy Lafleur, a longtime Montreal Canadiens participant, died on Friday at the age of 70, his family stated in a declaration on fb.

The cause of death turned into not discovered but lately he has been suffering with lung most cancers.

“Man, I really like you; you are carried out struggling we can omit you greatly,” his sister Lise Lafleur wrote on fb.

Lafleur gained the Stanley Cup 5 times between 1973 to 1979 with the Canadiens and become named of the “one hundred best NHL players” in records by using the league in 2017.

He played 14 seasons for the Canadiens after being drafted because the first normal choose in 1971, and played there till his first retirement in 1985.

He was inducted to the Hockey Hall of reputation in 1988 before coming returned to the NHL the equal yr. He played one season for the big apple Rangers and seasons for the Quebec Nordiques before his final retirement in 1991.

No purpose of death was given, but Lafleur had introduced his maximum latest right lung cancer diagnosis in October 2020. He had formerly had a cancerous lobe removed from his left lung in 2019.

“We are deeply saddened to research of the death of guy Lafleur,” Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said in an announcement. “All contributors of the Canadiens corporation are devastated via his passing. man, Lafleur had a high-quality career and always remained easy, handy, and close to the Habbs and hockey fanatics in Quebec, Canada and around the world. at some point of his career, he allowed us to enjoy high-quality moments of collective pleasure. He changed into one of the best gamers in our enterprise at the same time as becoming an outstanding ambassador for our recreation.”

The winger affectionately called “The Flower” and “The Blond Demon” played 14 seasons with Montreal (1971-85) and became a cornerstone of five Stanley Cup-triumphing teams, which includes in 1977, when he became awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Lafleur turned into electric at the ice, turning into the first participant in league records to provide six consecutive seasons with 50-plus desires and 100-plus points (1974-80).

in the course of the peak of his profession in the 1970s, Lafleur become a three-time art Ross Trophy winner because the NHL’s factors chief, a two-time Hart Trophy winner as league MVP and a three-time winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award (now known as the Ted Lindsay) as maximum top-notch player in step with the NHL players’ affiliation.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman venerated Lafleur’s unmistakable aptitude as a player.

“You failed to want to see man Lafleur’s call and number on his sweater whilst ‘The Flower’ had the % on his stick,” Bettman stated in an assertion. “As distinctively elegant as he became remarkably proficient, Lafleur cut a rushing and unmistakable determine every time he blazed down the ice of the Montreal discussion board, his long blond locks flowing in his wake as he organized to rifle any other p.c. beyond a helpless goaltender — or set up a linemate for a goal.”

prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a stated Canadiens fan, said Lafleur changed into “unlike all and sundry else on the ice.”

“His speed, talent, and scoring had been difficult to agree with,” Trudeau said in an announcement. “… My thoughts are with all who’re mourning this incredible loss — in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world. we will omit you, wide variety 10.”

Lafleur was hampered by accidents inside the 1980s and butted heads with teach Jacques Lemaire while he took over all through the 1983-84 season. the two had performed together at some stage in a number of the Canadiens’ exceptional seasons of the 1970s but didn’t find the same common ground as train and player. Lafleur asked Montreal fashionable supervisor Serge Savard for an alternate in 1985 and was denied. Lafleur ultimately determined to retire.

Inducted into the Hockey Hall of reputation in 1988, Lafleur that equal year determined to unretire and return to the NHL for the big apple Rangers. on the time, best Gordie Howe had ever long-gone lower back to the NHL after coming into the corridor; Mario Lemieux did its years later.

After one season in the big apple, Lafleur moved directly to spend two years with the Quebec Nordiques — in which he mentored future big-name Joe Sakic — earlier than subsequently striking up his skates for top in 1991.

Born in Thursa, Quebec, Lafleur grew up idolizing Montreal legend Jean Beliveau. After a success junior hockey profession, Lafleur turned into drafted first common via the Canadiens in 1971 and went on to come to be a franchise icon in his personal proper, along with his No. 10 sweater retired by using the crew in 1985. He also had his wide variety retired by the Quebec major Junior Hockey League in October.

LaFleur became identified with lung most cancers in 2019 while tumors were determined by using medical doctors acting emergency quadruple skip coronary heart surgical operation. two months later, he went below the knife once more to put off the upper lobe of his lung and a few lymph nodes.

a sequence smoker up till those fitness scares, Lafleur were partnering with Merck Canada as part of its “Be The MVP” marketing campaign to raise consciousness about early lung most cancers detection.

All instructed, Lafleur appeared in 1,126 NHL video games with 560 desires and 1,353 factors. In 2017, he become named one of the one hundred greatest NHL players of All Time.

TAMPA, Fla. — Steven Stamkos scored his thirty fourth intention of the season and have become Tampa Bay’s all-time scoring leader as the Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-1 on Thursday night time.

Stamkos, the first common pick out inside the 2008 draft, fired a one-timer from the left circle off a feed from Nikita Kucherov for the record-breaking 954th point of his profession. He moved beyond Martin St. Louis, who had 365 dreams and 588 assists with the Lightning.

A congratulatory video turned into shown on the scoreboard, narrated through St. Louis.

“To do it at home in opposition to the crew that I grew up idolizing,” said Stamkos, who is from Markham, Ontario. “Then having, [Kucherov] and [Victor Hedman] help on a one-time shot. Then my parents have been right here and my wife turned into right here … to do it at home. Then to have Marty pop out and try this. I mean, I do not certainly think of myself as an emotional man, but that virtually hit me. It turned into just a fantastic, amazing enjoy.”

Stamkos, who introduced assists, has 473 goals and 483 assists in 917 career games, all with Tampa Bay.

“What an accomplishment, and he is were given so much extra left in the tank, but, wow,” Lightning head teach Jon Cooper said. “Every time you’re becoming the franchise leader in an organization it is been around for 30 years and have the men, you’re passing are hall of Famers, it was a high-quality second.”

Kucherov amassed profession factor No. six hundred on the Stamkos goal and introduced his 20th aim of the season. Alex Killorn, Ondrej Palat and Ross Colton every completed three points. Colton and Killorn scored twice. Pat Maroon brought his 10th of the season for the Lightning, which set a season high in desires scored.

Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 36 photographs and picked up his first win in seven begins, recording his first victory for the reason that April 1 in Chicago.

Ilya Mikheyev scored a power-play intention for the Maple Leafs. Erik Kallgren stopped 28 photographs for Toronto.

Tampa Bay scored 4 goals in the 2d period to break the sport open after a scoreless first length.

Killorn opened the scoring within the 2d as the Lightning wheeled the percent around the zone from Victor Hedman to Brandon Hagel to Erik Cernak, who dispatched a shot from alongside the right boards that Killorn deflected for his 24th of the season at 3:54.

Colton scored his twentieth of the season to make it 2-zero, tapping in a backdoor bypass from Nick Paul at eleven:37. Stamkos made it 3-0 on the record-breaking purpose, with an assist from Kucherov at 12:38. Kucherov finished off the second-duration outburst with a strength-play purpose at 15:07.

Palat scored his 17th of the season 1:12 into the 1/3 length, deflecting a Mikhail Ergashev skip whilst Killorn scored his 2nd of the sport and the 1/3 power-play aim for Tampa Bay, tipping a Stamkos shot beyond Kallgren at 4:33.

Mikhaiel ended Vasilevskiy’s shutout bid with an energy-play aim at 7:45, but with Kyle Clifford ejected from the game because of a match penalty for high sticking Perry, Colton scored his second of the sport, tapping in a Palat pass at 8:50. Maroon scored his 10th of the season with 5:49 left.