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Profiling 10 Legends of the NHL


Wayne Gretzky Image

Guy Lafleur

DOB: September 20, 1951
Birthplace: Thurso, QB
Seasons Played: 17
Position: Guy Lafleur
Hall of Fame induction: 1988
 
 

#10--- Guy Lafleur ---#10
  • Like many young boys his age, Guy grew up idolizing fellow great Quebecer, Jean Beliveau. As this piece from Lafleurs bio on the Hockey Hall of Fame website demonstrates, he was a true die-hard Canadiens and Beliveau fan. When I was a kid, all we saw on TV was the Canadiens, and all I wanted to be was Beliveau. We had one bleu, blanc et rouge Canadiens sweater and I fought the others for the right to wear it. I dreaded to be drafted by any other team but the Canadiens, and when they took me I was so happy. If any other team had taken me, I would have signed with the Quebec team in the other league [the Nordiques, who were then in the WHA]. But the Canadiens had the greatest tradition in hockey and it was my dream to play for them."

  • Its said that as a kid Lafleur would sleep in his uniform just to get to the rink earlier in the morning. Then when he and Steve Shutt were teammates with Montreal, Shutt said about Lafleur "Any guy who would be in his uniform, skates tied tight and stick beside him at 4:00 in the afternoon for and 8 pm game has to be a little strange"
  • As a junior, Lafleur played for the Quebec Remparts and in 1971 led them to a Memorial Cup championship, scoring 130 goals and 79 assists in his final season. He was making a name for himself in the Quebec juniors at the same time Marcel Dionne was making a name for him in the Ontario junior league.
  • Lafleur was drafted first overall by the Canadiens after Montreal was able to negotiate a deal with the California Golden Seals to get the Seals first draft pick in 1971
  • During Lafleurs first three seasons, Guy was not playing up to his potential. Jean Beliveau was frustrated with this so he had a chat with Lafleur about his approach to the game. Soon after, Guy abandoned the helmet and "Le Demon Blond" was born. From that point on he was unstoppable.
  • Lafleur became the first player to pile up six straight 50+ goal and 100+ point seasons between 1974-1980.
  • In 1977, Lafleur won was awarded the Conn Smythe award when he posted 26 points (which was the second highest total to date) contributing on the final 8 goals Montreal scored over 3 games)
  • In March 1981, after returning home from a night of bar-hopping with the boys he fell asleep at the wheel his car left the road and he hit a sign. The sign smashed through the windshield and nearly decapitated Lafleur. He survived but the sign tore off a piece of his ear.
  • During the 1981-82 season Lafleur suffered a strained knee ligament that many claim that he returned to the game to quickly after. This injury in combination with years of being a smoker were taking a toll on Lafleur. The next three years were frustrating for him and when Lafleurs new coach, former teammate Jacques Lemaire brought a defensive game plan to the Canadiens the game became no longer fun for Lafleur. By 1984-85, he felt that in that system he could no longer play at the level he wanted, and when Montreal wouldnt grant Lafleur's wish to be traded, at age 33 he announced his retirement.
  • But while in retirement Guy really missed the game, and when the New York Rangers offered him a tryout he jumped at the chance. Lafleur managed to post 18 goals and 27 assists but more than that, he returned to the game as a wise hockey guru, after all Guy had accomplished and experience he had alot of valuable advice, perspective and leadership to share. He returned to his home province to play two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques before retiring for good on his own terms.
  • Lafleur led the league in scoring 3 times, winning the Art Ross Trophy in 1976,1977 and1978. As of 2006, Lafleur remains the last Montreal Canadien to win a scoring title.
  • Lafleur set a benchmark for the fewest games required to hit a 1000 points, needing just 720 games.
  • Over the course of his 14 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Lafleur scored 518 goals and 1246 making him the leading scorer in the franchises history.
  • Guy Lafleur was inducted into the hockey hall of fame in 1988.
  • Guy's number 10 was retired by the Montreal Canadiens on February 16, 1985.
  • Won five Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens dynasty of the 70s.

Guy Lafleur with Steve Shutt image

 

Career Stats

(regular season)
Games Goals Assists Points
1126 560 793 1353
(playoffs)
Games Goals Assists Points
128 58 76 134

 

NHL Teams

Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Quebec Nordiques

another Guy Lafleur image

Trophy Collection

2 Hart
3 Art Ross
2 Conn Smythe
6 First Team All-Star Selections
5 Stanley Cup Rings