Guy Lafleur, a Hall of Famer and pivotal piece of the Montreal Canadiens in the 1970s, passed away on Friday following a three-year battle with cancer. He was 70 years old.
Drafted first overall by the Habs in 1971, Lafleur became a cornerstone for the team’s champion-winning run through the rest of the decade. He won five Stanley Cups in that span, being awarded the Conn Smythe after Montreal defeated the Boston Bruins in the 1977 Stanley Cup Final. He also won two Hart Memorial Trophies and three Art Ross Trophies and was a six-time All-Star.
Lafleur retired from hockey following the 1984-85 season at age 33 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988. He then returned to play for the New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques, becoming the only player other than Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux to return to the league after being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Lafleur, a Quebec native, passed away in a suburb not far from Montreal.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Guy Lafleur,” Canadiens owner Geoff Molson said in a statement, via the NHL’s official website. “All members of the Canadiens organization are devastated by his passing. Guy Lafleur had an exceptional career and always remained simple, accessible, and close to the Habs and hockey fans in Quebec, Canada, and around the world. Throughout his career, he 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…”