Guy Damien Lafleur, one of the all-time great hockey players, died at the age of 70. Fans of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team left flowers at the base of the Guy Lafleur statue outside the Bell Centre in downtown Montreal on Friday to honour the deceased legend. Despite the fact that the cause of death was not determined, Lafleur had been battling lung cancer for nearly three years.
Lafleur, who was born on September 20, 1951, in Thurso, Quebec, was a natural on the ice. According to the National Hockey League, he played for the Quebec Remparts as an amateur, earning 130 goals and 209 points in his final season and guiding the team to the 1971 Memorial Cup victory.
Lafleur’s career spanned 20 years, with the exception of six of those spent with the Montreal Canadiens, with whom he won five Stanley Cup championships in a row in the 1970s. With 1,246 points, he is the Canadiens’ all-time leading scorer.
Lafleur announced his retirement at the end of the 1984 season. Lafleur’s No. 10 jersey was retired by the Canadiens at the end of the 1984-85 season, but he didn’t stay off the floor for long. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 before surprising the world once more by saying he will play again, this time with the New York Rangers, according to the NHL.
However, Lafleur only stayed in the United States for one season before returning to Canada to play for the Quebec Nordiques for two seasons until retiring in 1991.
During a regular medical exam to renew his helicopter pilot’s licence, Lafleur’s quadruple bypass surgery was revealed when it was discovered that four of his coronary arteries were entirely blocked and a fifth was clogged close to 90%.
He had one-third of his right lung removed by physicians two months after the malignancy was diagnosed.
In 2019, Lafleur was diagnosed with lung cancer. Only two months after undergoing quadruple-bypass heart surgery in September 2019, doctors removed a lobe from one of his lungs.
The Lafleur family issued a statement through the Montreal Canadiens’ Twitter account in March, thanking fans for their outpouring of love and support while the hockey legend battled cancer.
Lafleur is survived by his two sons, Mark and Martin, as well as his Canadian Broadcast Corp. wife, Lise.