Because he has lived sometimes in Alabama, sometimes in Florida, sometimes in the Toronto area, Steve Shutt has not necessarily had tons of opportunities to see Guy Lafleur in recent years.
Posted yesterday at 9:33 p.m.
But he’s one of the last former teammates Lafleur saw before he left us. It was two weeks ago. “Guy looked very good. That’s why I was surprised this morning, ”explains a very moved Shutt on the phone.
“My wife and I have booked a cabin for next August in Hudson. When I went to see Guy, I said to him: “See you there.” But he didn’t answer, as if he knew he wasn’t going to be there. »
They didn’t see each other often, but as the anecdote reveals, it’s the type of relationship where the two men can go three days or three years without seeing each other, it doesn’t change anything.
“You don’t have to be a neighbor to be close to someone,” Shutt says.
He pauses to suppress his sobs. “We are all members of a family. It’s hard. You don’t need to see him so often. You know what he does, what he thinks. We had a very special, very unique relationship, and we were successful. We were able to do it in front of a lot of people watching us play. »
Two wingers who find themselves
“We have had success. The term is weak. They played 12 seasons together. Five times, it ended on Sainte-Catherine, with allegorical floats and a big trophy.
In fact, Lafleur and Shutt formed the most prolific duo in Canadiens history. According to data provided by the NHL Stats Service, Shutt scored 184 goals off a Lafleur pass. No one in the team’s nearly 110 years has scored so many goals with the help of the same teammate.
Lafleur scored 110 with an assist from Shutt. This is the fifth combination in history.
“We really had opposite styles, analyzes Shutt. He was carrying the puck, and I was finishing plays. We didn’t step on our feet! We each had our mission. When Guy was skating, no one was watching me. He knew I was coming. It was the key. »
It is also rather rare to see such cohesion between two wingers. In general, great attacking duos consist of a center and a winger.
“When we were playing with Pete [Mahovlich], it was a purely offensive trio. But Jacques [Lemaire] was more defensive. He told us: “Go attack and I will stay behind.” »
Steve Shutt would have every reason to praise Guy Lafleur’s qualities as an offensive player. After all, the Ontarian is 5and in the history of the Canadian with 408 goals, and 8and in points with 776. Part of his success is due to his association with Lafleur.
But when asked what he remembers of Lafleur as a teammate, he thinks of the person before thinking of the hockey player.
“He was humble. He was just a very, very humble man, and a good guy, ”he says, again seized by emotion.
“All the stars in the world should have had the chance to talk to him to realize that even if you are a superstar, you can be humble. You don’t have to act like a big star even if you are. »