Guy Lafleur: "He didn't want to die"

Guy Lafleur: “He didn’t want to die”

“He didn’t want to die. He asked the doctor at the hospice where he was to give him something to strengthen him. The doctor replied that he couldn’t, that there was nothing more to be done. He wanted to go home. Mark [son fils cadet] says he let himself go then. »

It is Lise Lafleur who tells the story, one of Guy’s four sisters who bears the same first name as his wife.

Lise is at the family home in Thurso, Outaouais. Where his late father Réjean and his mother Pierrette raised their four daughters and their son.

His mother, Pierrette, still lives there.

At 90, she still has an iron health.

“She doesn’t look her age, she’s in better shape than us,” said Lise in her beautiful voice.

Same as his brother

Lise recounts her brother’s last hours without restraint.

Like her brother, she is very sociable.

“We are like that in the family, we love the world. »

Lise comes fourth in the family hierarchy.

The eldest is called Suzanne.

Guy was the second child in the family. Followed Gisèle, Lise and Lucie.

The last gift

Last week, the family visited Guy at his residence in L’Île-Bizard, Montreal.

“He told us that objects were waiting for us on the dining room table,” says Lise.

“He had sweaters made with his photo for each of us. He was happy.

“One of my sisters wore it when we went to see it again on Wednesday. It made him happy. »

Guy had been transported to the Theresa-Dellar hospice in Kirkland. It was the last time he saw his mother and sisters.


Guy Lafleur died Friday at the Teresa-Dellar palliative care residence in Kirkland, on the island of Montreal.

Photo QMI Agency, Mario Beauregard

Guy Lafleur died Friday at the Teresa-Dellar palliative care residence in Kirkland, on the island of Montreal.

He was visibly wasting away. His mother prayed to her late husband Réjean, who also died of lung cancer at the age of 62, to come and pick up her son.

To end his suffering.

Guy was looking for her at the end of the bed, wanting to make sure she was there.

“The rules were that no more than three people could see it at a time,” continues Lise.

“But Guy wanted to see us all together in front of him. The people in the center made an exception. It was Mark who spent the last night with him. »

“He took over from his mother and his brother [Martin], which were exhausted. »

With him until the end

Mark saw his father leave.

“The oncologist went to join him and Mark held his father’s hand until the end. He was the one who called my mother.

“It affects him a lot. We tell him that we are with him. »

Mark will always be grateful to his father for supporting him when he was in trouble with the law.

Guy helped him get back on his feet.

young boy teasing

Memories jostle in the head of Lise, who is five years younger than Guy.

She sees herself in their childhood.

“He played tricks on me, he liked to annoy us. He wasn’t the type to stay home doing nothing. He was active.

“At a time when there were no computers, we got together, a group of young people, to play hide-and-seek. The houses weren’t surrounded by fences and we had plenty of places to hide. »

“My father also made an ice rink. My mother had bought me skates and she was asking Guy to show me how to skate. »

Guy 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

Always the same

Lafleur was already the pride of Thurso.

Between the ages of 10 and 12, he drove the crowds to the Tournoi international pee-wee de Québec, which was held at the Coliseum.

“I don’t really have any memories of that time,” continues Lise, who was then between 5 and 8 years old.

“I don’t remember his years in the junior anymore. We sometimes went with the whole family to Quebec. It was far from home. »

“My parents went there more often. »

If he was already a star, Guy always remained himself. His successes never changed him.

He was always Guy Lafleur, the little guy who came from Thurso and for whom hockey was a passion.

“Guy, he’s a generous and simple guy”, continues Lise, speaking for the first time as if he were still with us.

“It was nice to talk to him when he came here. He was not boastful. He didn’t talk about his encounters with celebrities. The words almost had to be snatched from his mouth. »


An astronaut

“One day he told me he had posed with an astronaut who had walked on the Moon. I didn’t even know that. I asked him to send me the photo. I have it in my computer. This is Buzz Aldrin. »


Guy Lafleur met astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, in July 1969. Aldrin celebrated his 92nd birthday on January 20.

Photo courtesy, Lafleur family

Guy Lafleur met astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, in July 1969. Aldrin celebrated his 92nd birthday on January 20.

“When we all met in a restaurant in our area, he was constantly assailed by people who asked him for his autograph or who wanted to take a picture with him. »

“He didn’t say a word. He answered everyone while his plate was on the table. But he liked it, being surrounded by people. »

His father’s bedside

His mother said the same thing to journalist Yves Poirier of TVA Nouvelles.

“He loved everyone. He was generous, he could give away his shirt. He used to walk here [à Thurso] and people were knocking on the door to sign autographs. People came in and came to see Guy. »

Lafleur had the same attachment for the citizens of his hometown. Thurso has always been in his heart.

The death of his father had affected him a lot, says his sis.

“When he came down, he sometimes made a detour to the cemetery to see Dad’s grave. »

“He was with him, day and night, the last two days of his life. »

Damned cigarette

When it was not by car, Guy arrived in Thurso by helicopter.

It was the party!

“He made us do tricks,” says Lise again.

In closing, Lise recalls a party that was held in Thurso three years ago.

She had said an important thing to Guy.

“We were outside and I told him: ‘Guy, stop smoking, you’re going to get cancer. Look daddy”. »

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.