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Guy Lafleur passes away

The Canadiens legend was 70.

Montreal Canadiens Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Guy Lafleur has passed away, the Montreal Canadiens and his family announced on Friday.

He was 70 years old, and had been battling cancer. The team posted a release earlier in the week to ask for the family’s privacy.

Lafleur’s accomplishments and talent made him a legend throughout his hockey career. Lafleur was the first overall pick in the 1971 NHL Draft, held in Montreal, and thanks to some shrewd maneuvering it was a pick held by the Canadiens.

He made his debut the next season, in 1971-72, and spent the next 14 years with the Canadiens. With 518 goals and 1246 points in 961 games with the Canadiens, he is the team’s all-time leading points scorer. His #10 that hangs in the rafters was retired by the team in 1985.

Lafleur won three straight Art Ross trophies as the NHL’s top scorer from 1975-76 to 1977-78. He won the Lester B. Pearson trophy in all three years, and the Hart Memorial trophy in the last two. In 1976-77, he also won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP and the Lou Marsh award as Canada’s top athlete. He was a five-time Stanley Cup champion.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988, but that year, after three years away from the game, he returned with the New York Rangers. He then played two more seasons with the Quebec Nordiques. He played 1126 career NHL games, scoring 560 goals and adding 793 assists. In 128 career playoff games, he had 58 goals and 76 assists.

Our thoughts go out to his friends, and family, the Canadiens organization, and to his fans.