A man of honor |  The Journal of Montreal

A man of honor | The Journal of Montreal

In addition to school obligations, Shadow and light is the first book I read in my life. My fingers held me back, not fast enough to turn the pages I devoured. The pen of Georges-Hébert Germain was there at its best.

I met Guy Lafleur at best, he suspected. It was in Grandma Flore’s TV cabinet with lamps. I was 5 years old, I was dazzled by so much speed and beauty. The blond Demon, frank and conquering gaze, shaggy hair. This decamps to the wing, “along the fence” according to Gilles Tremblay. Then draws it. Powerful and precise shooting. The goal. Guy Guy Guy’s deep breathing, back to the bench. Then his smile. Then the goal… again and again… the goal.

Happy in a locker room

At the Grondin arena in Granby, alumni game. Three hours before the game, Guy was already in the locker room in overalls. Relaxed and happy. For Guy, a locker was a Lay-Z-Boy. He was there like in his living room. That day again, he flew over the ice. A good two hours after the match, Guy was still in the locker room. He carefully signed his name and his famous number 10. He had no time. He was happy and well.

What Guy Lafleur has done in people’s hearts cannot be explained. He is one of the three stars of the CH’s rich history. The last to reach the sky after Maurice and Monsieur Béliveau. Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky and Alex Ovechkin’s nine-season mark of 50 or better goals could very well have been Guy’s. Alas, he had to endure the purgatory imposed by Sam Pollock and Scotty Bowman for three long seasons. I still don’t understand why his center player and alleged friend Jacques Lemaire benched him in the early 1980s.

A free man is gone

If we understand that the locker room was Guy’s main house, we understand that he was more than the ultimate teammate. He was a brother among his brothers. The Canadian was his family, all his life. One of the last free men has just left. A good and devoted man. Invested in doing good as much as in telling the truth. Still. The notables do not like these genuine men of honor very much. Fortunately, they can do nothing against the heart that beats in each of the mere mortals. It allowed the ordinary world to love the imperfect Guy Lafleur with a love that was as deep as it was unconditional.

Guy LafleurGuy Lafleur | 1951-2022

March 30, 1991 – Ovation for Guy Lafleur during his last game at the Forum in a Nordiques uniform. Archives / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur during his years with Le Canadien Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur André Toto Gingras THE MONTREAL JOURNAL/QMI AGENCY

The Canadian Hockey Club presents the recipients of the Guy-Lafleur Excellence and Merit Awards for 2017-2018 CHANTAL POIRIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur during the last game of his farewell tour at the Bell Center on Sunday December 5, 2010. Sébastien St-Jean / 24Heures / QMI Agency

September 11, 1971 – On the eve of his first training camp with the Montreal Canadiens, for the first time Guy Lafleur took the opportunity to skate on the Forum ice rink. In the photo he is with Jean Béliveau. Archives / Le Journal de Montreal

Autographed photo of Guy Lafleur in his Quebec Remparts uniform Courtesy

Guy Lafleur as part of the evening for the retirement of Guy Lafleur’s number 4 at the Slush Puppie Center in Gatineau on Wednesday September 29, 2021 MARTIN CHEVALIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur and his banner as part of the evening for the retirement of Guy Lafleur’s number 4 at the Slush Puppie Center in Gatineau on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 MARTIN CHEVALIER / LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

Guy Lafleur’s last game with the Quebec Nordiques, in Montreal on March 30, 1991 Archives / Le Journal de Montreal

Sculpture by Guy Lafleur in bronze Archives / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur, Pee-Wee Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament Collection, Modern Photo Fund

Guy Lafleur, Pee-Wee Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament Collection, Modern Photo Fund

Guy Lafleur and the Art Ross, Conn Smythe and Lester B. Pearson trophies, Montreal Forum, 1976 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur, then a member of Team Canada, signs autographs during practice for the Canada Cup, Montreal 1976 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur and goaltender Murray Bannerman #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Forum 1980 Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images

Guy Lafleur and goaltender Mike Palmateer of the Toronto Maple Leafs Dick Darrell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

March 7, 1975 – Guy Lafleur becomes the first player in Canadiens history to reach 100 points in a single season in an 8-4 win over the Washington Capitals Archives / Le Journal de Montreal

Guy Lafleur on the bench during Game 3 against the Boston Bruins, Boston Gardens, 1977 Dick Raphael/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Announcement of Guy Lafleur’s first retirement The Archives / The Journal of Montreal

The QMJHL retires Guy Lafleur’s number 4 at the Videotron Center in Quebec, Thursday October 28, 2021 STEVENS LEBLANC / JOURNAL DE QUEBEC / QMI AGENCY

Seems that we must take advantage since it passes too quickly. Like the Ferrari in which Guy rode in the middle of the night when leaving Thursday’s after a drunken evening. Guy was sitting on the passenger side. Her boyfriend Gilles Villeneuve was driving. The other idol of a whole people wanted to show off the speed of his new mount. Gilles knew that at night the traffic lights were synchronized. He crossed Dorchester Boulevard on the same green. The two “Mohicans” sped from west to east, from Dorchester towards what became René-Lévesque. From what they never wanted to be to what they always were. Extraordinary ordinary men.

I believe that we, living, no longer have the weight. The Good God club is now much better. Guy can finally rest. I’m sure he will do it in peace. It can’t be otherwise when it comes to the idol of all idols. When it comes to an immortal. Hi Guy, thanks for everything. Your gin is in my freezer, just like you suggested. It’s going to be sweet to my throat and to my bruised heart tonight.


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