Last week, Mike Bossy died. Now, another NHL legend is gone: Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, who helped the Montreal Canadiens win five Stanley Cup titles in the 1970s, has died at age 70, per the AP. That's why the hashtag #RIP Flower was trending on Twitter Friday, a reference to the American meaning of his name. The No. 1 pick in the 1971 NHL draft, Lafleur registered 518 goals and 728 assists in 14 seasons with Montreal. With the flashy forward leading the way, the Canadiens won it all in 1973, and then four more times from 1976 to 1979.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a noted Canadiens fan, said Lafleur was “unlike anyone else on the ice.” His "speed, skill, and scoring were hard to believe,” Trudeau posted on Twitter. “We’ll miss you, Number 10.” LaFleur was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019 when tumors were discovered by doctors performing emergency quadruple bypass heart surgery. He retired from the NHL in 1985 after Montreal denied his request for a trade, then was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988. But he made a comeback later that year with the New York Rangers and played two more seasons with the Quebec Nordiques before hanging up his skates for good in 1991.
- Named one of the NHL’s 100 greatest players of all-time in 2017, Lafleur finished with 560 goals and 793 assists in 1,126 games in his 17 seasons.
- He holds the Canadiens’ all-time record for assists and points.
- He scored at least 50 times in six straight campaigns from 1974-75 to 1979-80.
- Lafleur won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer three straight years from 1976 to 1978, the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1977 and 1978, and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1977.
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