Guy Lafleur, a native of Thurso, Quebec, made an early impression on the Canadiens’ organization when Habs legend Jean Beliveau requested to meet the 10 year old after scoring a hat trick at a Quebec junior tournament. During his junior career with the Quebec Remparts, Lafleur would score 233 goals and 379 points and lead his team to the Memorial Cup in 1971 as Canada's top major-junior team.
Expectations were very high after Canadiens GM Sam Pollock orchestrated a trade with the California Golden Seals to secure the No. 1 pick in the 1971 draft that would see the Habs select Lafleur over another flashy junior from Quebec …Marcel Dionne. A move that was heavily criticized after Lafleur’s first three seasons on the team were less than stellar. But it was in his fourth year that Lafleur started showing his true talent.
Lafleur, nicknamed The Flower, spent 14 years with the Canadiens, followed by a three-year retirement. He then played with the Rangers for one season and the Quebec Nordiques for two. During his career, the Habs’ number 10, led the team to five Stanley Cup wins, became the first player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons and broke several NHL and team records along the way…. all of this while reportedly having a two-pack a day smoking habit!! By the time Lafleur hung up his skates in 1991 he solidified his spot in hockey history as one of the most prolific scorers of his generation and indisputably achieved Habs Legend Status … alongside his childhood heroes, Richard and Beliveau.
Lafleur’s career highlights and achievements include:
- Led Habs dynasty that won five Stanley Cup championships.
- Habs all-time leading scorer notching up 1,246 points (518 goals and 728 assists) during his 14 years with the team.
- Two-time recipient of the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
- Three-time recipient the Art Ross Trophy as the League's leading scorer.
- Awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1977 as the MVP of the NHL Playoffs.
- Three-time recipient of the Lester B. Pearson Award (now called the Ted Lindsay Award) as the NHL MVP, as voted by the players.
- Inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and is only one of three players (along with Howe and Lemieux) to come out of retirement after being inducted.
- Only sixth player in Canadiens franchise history to have his sweater retired.
What’s Guy doing now?
For the past two decades Lafleur has continued to be part Les Canadiens, serving as a team ambassador, steadily drawing crowds of Habs fans across the country. Guy, a licensed pilot, owns and operates a Helicopter rental company, as well as a number of popular restaurants in Quebec. There is nowhere he can go in the city and the province, and very few places in Canada, that he is not recognized!
Unfortunately, 2019 presented Guy with some major health challenges as he underwent lung surgery, just two months after quadruple bypass heart surgery. By all accounts he is recovering well and is looking forward to getting back out in to his beloved Habs community.