“I tell myself that Guy went on a trip in his helicopter”

“I tell myself that Guy went on a trip in his helicopter”

Marcel Dionne has been stirred by a range of emotions since Guy Lafleur left us. His phone doesn’t ring at home, at Niagara Falls. We call him to tell him about Guy. It’s normal.

Both born in 1951, Lafleur and Dionne pursued parallel careers.

Lafleur put Thurso on the map with his exploits at the Tournoi international pee-wee de Québec.

Dionne was the pride of Drummondville. He too captured attention wherever he went.

The two faced off for the first time in the bantam ranks.

It continued at the midget level, in the Quebec Junior A League and in the 1971 Memorial Cup final between the Remparts and the St. Catharines Black Hawks.

That year, they were the two most coveted players in the National League draft.

Lafleur ended up with the Canadiens while Dionne ended up in Detroit.

The only times they played together were in the first two Canada Cup tournaments, in 1976 and 1981, and after their careers with teams formed by hockey legends.

Rivals on the ice, friends in life

The rivalry between them did not prevent them from being friends outside the rink.

Dionne spawned with Habs players when he played in Los Angeles.


In the presence of Michel Bergeron, who holds the flannel that the two players have already worn on Broadway.

Archival photo

In the presence of Michel Bergeron, who holds the flannel that the two players have already worn on Broadway.

Today, he says he has more affinity with the players who made the great teams of the Canadiens than with all those he had as teammates. It’s not trivial.

The fatal shock

Steve Shutt called him Friday to talk about Lafleur. They probably told each other tasty stories, when you know the two men.

Like many people in the hockey world, they knew from the start that Lafleur had little chance of getting away with it.

“But when the news comes, it’s a fatal shock,” said Dionne on the phone.

Dionne remembers the good times he had with Lafleur and finds a way to see a positive side to his death.

“When I drive, I think of him,” he says.

“I tell myself that he is not dead. I tell myself that he went on a trip in his helicopter and that he is very happy.

“I see him every day at home. I have many pictures of him in the basement of my house from the gift shop merchandise I owned.

“Guy is everywhere! »

Blow to the heart

Helicopter flying is probably the thing Lafleur missed the most when he suffered health problems.

“His pilot’s license was suspended for three years when he underwent his four bypasses. Hey! how angry he was! He was passionate about helicopters”, continues Marcel.

On this, Dionne goes on to talk about the spontaneity that characterized Guy.

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

“He suddenly had an idea to do something and it was right away,” laughs Dionne.

“One day, he called me to tell me that he was coming to our house in his helicopter. I said, “Woh, woh, Guy, wait a minute!

“But he had it all planned out. He told me he could land at my house. He was like that, it was Guy. »

Flight over Mario’s

Dionne is still making fun of herself by relating a story that a close friend of Guy’s had told her.

“The two were strolling above Mont-Tremblant and Guy wanted to show Mario Lemieux’s mansion to his boyfriend,” said Dionne.

“He lowered his aircraft below the permitted altitude so that his friend could see the house up close. »

Dionne still can’t get over the inflammatory statements that Lafleur made against the Canadian while he was its ambassador.

“I said to him: ‘Guy, you work for the Canadiens, you can’t say that. If it was me talking like you do, I’d be kicked out!”

“But it was Flower. Everyone knew how he was. »

Why smoke?

Marcel suddenly becomes more serious. He would have liked Guy to understand that cigarettes kill.

“Like all people who smoke, Guy thought he was invincible,” laments Dionne. “But the disease does not discriminate. She can attack anyone.

“I read a lot about lung cancer. A study says that from the moment you start smoking, you live to be 50 years old.

“However, it is a problem that can be solved. The people who die from it could have remedied the situation. Mike Bossy is among those now. »

The standard of the time

It has been 60 years since science proved that cigarettes cause cancer. But the scourge continues.

“When I was playing, smoking was the norm,” says Dionne, who has never smoked.

“In all the teams, half of the players smoked. At the Kings, the guys went to the bathroom.

“Roger Maris was doing commercials for a brand of cigarettes in his heyday with the Yankees. He died of lung cancer.

“Richard Martin [avec qui il a joué brièvement à Los Angeles] smoked five cigars a day. He died of a heart attack at age 60. »

It’s too young to leave.


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