|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
185 lb (84 kg)
New York Rangers
|Born||September 20, 1951,|
|NHL Draft||1st overall, 1971|
|Pro Career||1971 – 1984|
1988 – 1991
|Hall of Fame, 1988|
Guy Damien Lafleur, Order of Canada, National Order of Quebec, (born September 20, 1951, in Thurso, Quebec), is a former professional ice hockey player and is widely regarded as one of the most naturally gifted and popular players ever to play professional[ice hockey. Between 1971 and 1991, he played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques in an NHL career spanning 17 seasons and five Stanley Cup championships.
Early years[edit | edit source]
In his teens, Lafleur gained considerable recognition for his play as a member of the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he led his team to the Memorial Cup in 1971, scoring an amazing 130 regular-season goals. At the time, Lafleur idolized Jean Béliveau and Bobby Orr.
The Habs' astute General Manager, Sam Pollock, was keen to find a way to trade with the California Golden Seals to obtain their first round draft pick. He persuaded Seals owner Charlie Finley to trade the Seals' pick and François Lacombe in return for Montreal's first round pick and a veteran Ernie Hicke. It turned out to be one of the most lopsided deals in NHL history. Pollock hesitated between Lafleur and Marcel Dionne, but chose Lafleur with his overall no.1 pick.
Montreal Canadiens[edit | edit source]
At first, Lafleur struggled to live up to expectations in the league but by 1974, he had developed his trademark smooth skating style and scoring touch. He was a cornerstone of five Stanley Cup championship teams. He was one of the most popular players on a very popular team; fans chanted "Guy, Guy, Guy!" whenever he touched the puck. He became known among English fans as "The Flower", while among French fans he was dubbed "le Démon Blond" (the Blond Demon).
During the 1978 Stanley Cup finals, Boston Bruins head coach Don Cherry ordered his players to put their sticks up and hit Lafleur whenever they encountered him. At the end of the series, Lafleur's head was swathed in bandages after numerous slashes from Bruin players. After Montreal won the Stanley Cup, he borrowed it for the weekend without telling anyone to show his friends back home in Thurso where he set it out on his front lawn for all his neighbors to see.
In 1979, Lafleur released an album called 'Lafleur'. The album consisted of Guy Lafleur reciting hockey instructions and singing, accompanied by disco music. While driving home on March 24, 1981, Lafleur fell asleep at the wheel of his Cadillac and crashed into a highway fence. He was nearly decapitated when a metal post pierced the windshield missing his head by inches while tearing off part of his ear. During the 1980–81 Montreal Canadiens season, Lafleur appeared in only 51 games and scored 27 goals. It was the first time since the 1973–74 Montreal Canadiens season that he failed to score 50 goals or more in a season.
With Scotty Bowman, Ken Dryden, Jacques Lemaire, and several other key players retiring after the conclusion of the 1979 season, the Canadiens' dynasty came to an end, losing in the second round of the 1980 playoffs to the Minnesota North Stars in seven games. Injuries shortened Lafleur's 1980–1981 season and his production dropped significantly (during the previous six seasons, Lafleur had hit or exceeded 100 points and 50 goals). In the following seasons, he was being overshadowed by Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky. During the 1984–1985 season, after scoring only two goals in 19 games and unhappy with the amount of ice time he was receiving, he decided to retire.
Return to NHL[edit | edit source]
After being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, Lafleur returned to the NHL briefly from 1988–89 through 1990–91 with the New York Rangers and the Quebec Nordiques. Lafleur remained one of the few players that did not wear protective helmets due to the Grandfather clause.
During his first game back in the Montreal Forum, he scored twice against Patrick Roy during the Rangers' 7–5 loss to the Canadiens. As in his heydey with the Habs, the Forum crowd chanted "Guy! Guy! Guy!" every time he touched the puck, and he received huge ovations for each goal, and when he was introduced as the game's first star. Although his high-scoring days were well behind him, his stint with the Rangers was moderately successful and he helped the team to first place in the Patrick Division until being knocked out by a knee injury.
Lafleur then followed dismissed Rangers head coach and close friend Michel Bergeron to the Nordiques for his final seasons. Intending to finish his hockey career in Quebec where he had started, he reportedly turned down a $1 million offer from the Los Angeles Kings. He managed 24 goals in 98 games with the Nordiques over two seasons, the 38-year-old was still among the team's best players while receiving diminished ice time.
Accolades[edit | edit source]
Lafleur is the all-time leading scorer in Canadiens history, notching 1,246 points (518 goals and 728 assists) in his 14 years with the Habs. He led the NHL in scoring in 1976, 1977, and 1978. He tied for a Montreal club record with Steve Shutt for goals in a season with 60 in 1977–78 and holds the franchise record for points in a season with 136 in 1976–77. Lafleur became the first player in NHL history to score at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons as a Hab. Lafleur was also the fastest player (at the time) to reach 1,000 points, doing so in only 720 games. That record has since been broken by Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and a few others.
He won three Art Ross Trophies (1976, 1977, 1978), two Hart Memorial Trophies (1977, 1978), three Lester B. Pearson Awards (1976, 1977, 1978), and one Conn Smythe Trophy (1977). He was a member of the Canadian team in the 1976 and 1981 Canada Cup tournaments, winning the Cup in 1976, and was the recipient of the Lou Marsh Trophy in 1977.
Lafleur was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. Along with Gordie Howe before him and Mario Lemieux after him, Lafleur is one of only three players to have returned to the NHL after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He still holds the record for the most career point and assist totals in Montreal Canadiens history, as well as the second-highest goal total behind Maurice "Rocket" Richard. Lafleur was the sixth Montreal Canadiens' player to have his sweater number retired.
In April 2001, Lafleur placed 122 items - including 5 miniature Stanley Cups, 6 miniature Prince of Wales trophies, 1977 Conn Smythe Trophy, 3 Art Ross trophies, Hockey Hall of Fame plaque and ring, games-used jerseys, 4 Stanley Cup rings, and the first skates he ever wore - for sale. The items' selling prices totalled approximately $400,000 USD.
Besides the honours received during his playing career, in 1980 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2005, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.
In 1998, he was ranked number 11 on The Hockey News list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
Records and Achievements[edit | edit source]
- Most Career Points (Montreal Canadiens)- 1246 points in 961 games
- Most Career Assists (Montreal Canadiens)- 728 assists in 961 games
- Most Goals in a season (Montreal Canadiens)- 60 in 1977-78
- Most Points in a season (Montreal Canadiens)- 136 in 1976-77
- Most consecutive games with a point- 28 games in 1976-77 (19-42-61) surpassed by Wayne Gretzky in 1982-83 and currently held by Gretzky in 1983-84 51 games (61-92-153)
- Most Points in a season (including playoffs)- 162 (136 Season & 26 Playoffs), surpassed by Wayne Gretzky in 1980-81 record currently held by Gretzky 255 (208 Season & 47 Playoffs) in 1984-85.
- Most Goals in a season by a Right Wing- 53 in 1974-75 surpassed by Reggie Leach (61 in 1975-76) and currently held by Brett Hull (86 in 1990-91)
- Most Assists in a season by a Right Wing- 80 in 1976-77 surpassed by Mike Bossy (83 in 1981-82) and currently held by Jaromir Jagr (87 in 1995-96)
- Most Points in a season by a Right Wing- 136 in 1976-77 surpassed by Mike Bossy (147 in 1981-82) and currently held by Jaromir Jagr (149 in 1995-96)
- Most Goals in a season (including playoffs) by a Right Wing- 65 (53 Season & 12 Playoffs) in 1974-75 surpassed by Reggie Leach 80 (61 Regular & 19 Playoffs) in 1975-76 and currently held by Brett Hull 97 (86 Season & 117 Playoffs) in 1990-91
- Most Assists in a season (including playoffs) by a Right Wing- 97 (80 Season & 17 Playoffs) in 1976-77 surpassed and currently held by Jaromir Jagr 99 (87 Season & 12 Playoffs) in 1995-96
- Most Points in a season (including playoffs) by a Right Wing- 162 (136 Season & 26 Playoffs) in 1976-77 surpassed and currently held by Mike Bossy 174 (147 Season & 27 Playoffs) in 1981-82
- Fastest player to score 400 NHL Goals- 667 GP surpassed by Mike Bossy (506 GP) and currently held by Wayne Gretzky (436 GP)
- Fastest player to reach 1000 NHL Points- 720 GP surpassed and currently held by Wayne Gretzky (424 GP)
- Fastest player to reach 1100 NHL Points- 797 GP surpassed and currently held by Wayne Gretzky (464 GP)
- He was the youngest player in NHL history to score 300 goals (26 years, 181 days) until he was surpassed by Mike Bossy (25 years, 60 days).
- He was the youngest player in NHL history to score 400 goals (28 years, 176 days) until he was surpassed by Mike Bossy (26 years, 357 days).
- He was the youngest player in NHL history to score 900 points (28 years, 121 days) until he was surpassed by Bryan Trottier (27 years, 149 days).
After retirement[edit | edit source]
Lafleur currently operates a helicopter rental company in Montreal that shuttles VIPs to and from the airport. He was at the controls when the Tampa Bay Lightning's André Roy proposed to his fiancée, the Stanley Cup serving as the engagement ring bearer. Guy Lafleur also owns a restaurant in Berthierville, Quebec, "Guy Lafleur Mikes Signature" It opened in 2002. Lafleur has opened a new restaurant, called "Bleu, Blanc, Rouge" in Rosemère, Quebec, August 4, 2008.
Career statistics[edit | edit source]
Note: GP = Games played, G = Goals, A = Assists, Pts = Points, PIM = Penalties in minutes
|1966–67||Quebec Junior Aces||QJHL||8||1||1||2||0||--||--||--||--||--|
|1967–68||Quebec Junior Aces||QJHL||43||30||19||49||0||--||--||--||--||--|
|1968–69||Quebec Junior Aces||QJHL||49||50||60||110||83||--||--||--||--||--|
|1988–89||New York Rangers||NHL||67||18||27||45||12||4||1||0||1||0|
- *Name was engraved on the Stanley Cup.
See also[edit | edit source]
- List of members of the Hockey Hall of Fame
- Hockey Hall of Fame
- List of NHL seasons
- List of NHL players with 1000 points
- List of NHL players with 500 goals
[edit | edit source]
|National Hockey League first overall draft picks|
Monahan • Gauthier • Veilleux • Gibbs • Pagnutti • Plasse • Houle • Perreault • Lafleur • Harris • Potvin • Joly • Bridgman • Green • McCourt • Smith • Ramage • Wickenheiser • Hawerchuk • Kluzak • Lawton • Lemieux • Clark • Murphy • Turgeon • Modano • Sundin • Nolan • Lindros • Hamrlík • Daigle • Jovanovski • Berard • Phillips • Thornton • Lecavalier • Štefan • DiPietro • Kovalchuk • Nash • Fleury • Ovechkin • Crosby • Johnson • Kane • Stamkos
|Montreal Canadiens first-round draft picks|
|Monahan • Chagnon • Bouchard • Myre • McCann • Plasse • Houle • Tardif • Martyniuk • Lefley • Lafleur • Arnason • Wilson • Shutt • Larocque • Gardner • Van Boxmeer • Gainey • Connor • Risebrough • Chartraw • Tremblay • McTavish • Sadler • Mondou • Lee • Schutt • Baker • Napier • Dupont • Geoffrion • D. Hunter • Wickenheiser • M. Hunter • Delorme • Ingman • Heroux • Turcotte • Svoboda • Corson • Charbonneau • Chorske • Pederson • Cassels • Charron • Vallis • Stevenson • Bilodeau • Wilkie • Koivu • Brown • Ryan • M. Higgins • Ward • Chouinard • Hainsey • Hossa • Komisarek • Perezhogin • C. Higgins • A. Kostitsyn • Chipchura • Price • Fischer • McDonagh • Pacioretty • Leblanc • Tinordi|
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