“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Guy Lafleur. All members of the Canadiens organization are devastated by his passing,” said Geoff Molson, President of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club.
“Guy Lafleur has had an exceptional career and has always remained simple, accessible and close to Canadians and hockey fans in Quebec, Canada and around the world. Throughout his career, he has allowed us to experience great moments of collective pride. He was one of the greatest players in our organization while becoming an extraordinary ambassador for our sport. »
In September 2019, Lafleur underwent emergency bypass surgery after a routine exam revealed he had four almost completely blocked coronary arteries, according to NHL.com. While undergoing the emergency bypass, surgeons detected lung cancer and he would have a third of his right lung removed two months later. The cancer came back in October 2021.
Lafleur, nicknamed “The Flower,” was a five-time Stanley Cup champion with the Canadiens. The Habs selected Lafleur with the first pick of the 1971 amateur draft as the top junior player in Canada with the Quebec Remparts.
Lafleur scored 1,353 points (560 goals, 793 assists) in 1,126 career NHL games with the Canadiens, Rangers and Quebec Nordiques. Between 1974-75 and 1979-80, the Canadiens scored at least 50 goals in six consecutive seasons and won the Stanley Cup four times in a row with the Canadiens from 1976-79 after winning it in 1973.
“You didn’t need to see Guy Lafleur’s name and number on his jersey when ‘The Flower’ had the puck on his stick. As stylish as he is remarkably talented, Lafleur put on a dashing and unmistakable figure whenever he swept down the ice at the Montreal Forum, his long blonde locks flowing in his wake as he prepared to fire another puck past a helpless goaltender – or find a line mate for a goal,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement Friday.
During his career, Lafleur won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s top scorer and the Ted Lindsay Award — voted Most Outstanding Player by the NHL Players’ Association — in 1976, 1977 and 1978. also received the Hart Trophy as a two-time NHL MVP and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988.