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Remembering a Hockey Legend

04 Dec

Earlier this week we lost a hockey legend, Jean Béliveau.  Can I introduce you to him?

He was born on August 31, 1931 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec.  He died on December 2, 2014 at the age of 83, in Longueuil, Quebec.

Photo of Jean Béliveau

Hockey legend Jean Béliveau

He was a professional Canadian ice hockey player who played parts of 20 seasons with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Montreal Canadiens from 1950 to 1971. He began to play professionally in the Quebec Major Hockey League (QMHL). He made his NHL début with the Canadiens in 1950, but chose to stay in the QMHL full-time until 1953. By his second season in the NHL, Béliveau was among the top three scorers. He was the fourth player to score 500 goals and the second to score 1,000 points. Béliveau won two Hart Memorial Trophies (1956, 1964) and one Art Ross Memorial Trophy (1956), as well as the inaugural Conn Smythe Trophy (1965). As a player, he won the Stanley Cup 10 times, and as an executive he was part of another seven championship teams, the most Stanley Cup victories by an individual to date. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

Nicknamed “Le Gros Bill” (The Big Bill), Béliveau ranks among the ten greatest NHL players.

Interestingly, Béliveau can trace his ancestry to Antoine Béliveau, who settled in 1642 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia. The Béliveaus were expelled along with the Acadians in 1755 and the family settled in the Boston area before moving to Québec to the Trois Rivières area in the mid-19th century.

He suffered from many ailments for decades now.  He’s suffered two strokes, and was diagnosed with cancer (he recovered after a punishing course of treatments).

Another defining moment in his life, Prime Minister Jean Chretien offered Béliveau the position of Governor General of Canada in 1994.  However, he declined the offer to be with his daughter, Hélène, and two grandchildren, Mylene and Magalie. Their father, a Quebec police officer, committed suicide when the girls were five and three.

Of many legacies he leaves behind, one of the greatest (I think) is the charitable Jean Béliveau Foundation, established in 1971. In 1993, Béliveau transferred the foundation to the Society for Disabled Children.

We have missed him on the ice and admired him for his steadfast vigour for living life to its fullest.  Thoughts and prayers for his family, friends and fans.

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16 responses to “Remembering a Hockey Legend

  1. groovy777

    December 12, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing! As one Canuck to another, I say keep up the great blog!

     
    • tkmorin

      December 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      Thank you fellow Canuck!! 🙂

       
  2. Yvonne

    December 5, 2014 at 1:51 am

    It’s so nice to hear about these long ago sportsmen, thank you!

     
    • tkmorin

      December 5, 2014 at 9:19 am

      You’re welcome, Yvonne. 🙂

       
  3. TvKapherr, CatsattheBar & BackHomeinBromont

    December 4, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I had the honor of meeting him when I was about 10 years old. He was my hero then and still is today.

     
    • tkmorin

      December 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      An honour indeed! I’m sure it’s a treasured experience! 🙂

       
      • TvKapherr, CatsattheBar & BackHomeinBromont

        December 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm

        He was the honorary Spokesman for the Montreal Children’s Hospital at the time. My parents were hosting a party for the Fundraising committee and he came! I was in total awe and went a considerable number of days without washing the hand he shook. I still have the autographed 8 X 10 that he gave me. 🙂

         
        • tkmorin

          December 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

          Wow, that sounds like such a wonderful memory. And not the man the hockey player, but the man who gives of himself! ❤ Great!

           
  4. Amy

    December 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing the story of this great hockey player!

     
    • tkmorin

      December 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      My pleasure! 🙂

       
  5. The Canadian Cats

    December 4, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Awesome hockey player. Let’s not forget the coach for the Canucks…Pat Quinn. He was 71 when he died a few days ago.. There is talk about renaming the Agra dome in Exhibition Park in Vancouver…The Pat Quinn Stadium.

    Jean

     
    • tkmorin

      December 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Thanks for that reminder and comment. Another legend! 🙂 It would be nice if it was renamed!

       
  6. purrfectkitties

    December 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks for introducing Jean Béliveau to us. He truly was a legend. xx Roxy & Tigerlino ❤

     
  7. launchings5

    December 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I first met him at the Quebec Society for Disabled Children’s summer camp when I was 5 (over 50 years ago). I remember him as a gentle, soft spoken giant. Being an avid Canadiens fan, I followed his on-ice career, but continued to be impressed by his humble generosity throughout the years. Merci Jean

     
    • tkmorin

      December 4, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      It sounds like he made quite the impression on you!

       
  8. seaangel4444

    December 4, 2014 at 11:32 am

    A fantastic hockey player, bless him. Cher xo

     

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