Guy Lafleur: dynamite against the Bruins, according to Harry Sinden

Guy Lafleur: dynamite against the Bruins, according to Harry Sinden

The New York Islanders visited the Canadiens last Friday. It was the very day of the announcement of the death of the illustrious number 22, Mike Bossy. For the first game in Montreal after the death of Guy Lafleur, luck has it that the Boston Bruins will be the rivals.

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“I like to believe that it is not a matter of chance, launched Harry Sinden during an interview at the Montreal Journal. It’s more like fate to see the Bruins play a game in Montreal in the wake of the loss of Guy Lafleur.”

“We just lost two great players with the deaths of Mike Bossy and Guy.”

At 89, Sinden still speaks with poise and confidence. The memory is still alive.

General manager of the Boston Bruins from October 1972 until November 2000, Sinden often crossed paths with the Canadiens and Lafleur. There are times he’d probably rather not remember 1970s CH, but he does so with a bliss that oozed over the phone.

“He was always in our game plan. We were looking for ways to slow him down, but Guy never listened to our plan! He was fooling us. He always ended up scoring goals against us. He hurt the Bruins a lot of times.”

“Flower was kind of like dynamite against the Bruins,” he continued. He jostled everything in his path. He was quick, he was smart, he was brave and he had a terrific shot. He also had an impressive character. He was playing the right way, he was not afraid of anything.

Stanley Cup winners in 1970 and 1972, the Bruins suffered elimination against the Habs in 1977, 1978 and 1979. All three times, Lafleur and his teammates ended up drinking champagne from the cup.

“I have seen Lafleur’s equalizer so often in 1979 in the seventh game against us, replied the native of Ontario. We had just received a penalty for too many players on the ice. It’s impossible for me not to remember. I was sick to the heart when the CH beat us, but I had so much respect for Guy and the great players of that time.

An impossible union

Off the ice, Sinden didn’t get to know Thurso’s native hero personally.

“I often met him in arenas and in events, I greeted him and he always answered me, he explained. I know he was a man of class and a man close to his people. From the 70s dynasty of the Canadian, I had the chance to know Serge Savard well, I developed a great friendship with him.

Lafleur retired for the first time on November 26, 1984. The Blond Demon returned to play four years later with the New York Rangers, during the 1988-1989 season.

Sinden would he have considered luring him to the Bruins in Boston?

“I thought about it and asked questions, but there was never a discussion,” he said. It was an impossible union between the Bruins and Guy. He would never have agreed to wear our logo. Guy Lapointe had done it in his very last season in the NHL and he found it strange. So I can’t imagine how Flower would have felt.”

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