Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1996
Selected 1st overall by Montreal in Amateur Draft
Five Stanley Cups-Montreal Canadiens
Six straight years of 50 goals and 100 points
When Guy Lafleur joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1971, his was the most anticipated debut for the Habs since Jean Beliveau in 1953. Lafleur set scoring records in junior with the Quebec Remparts, and Montreal general manager Sam Pollock had orchestrated a series of trades to ensure he would get Lafleur in that draft. Wearing a helmet, the rookie Lafleur scored 29 goals and showed flashes of greatness right form the start. The next year, the team won the Stanley Cup, and the year after Lafleur had his third straight 20 goal season. Then, he exploded. In 1974-75, playing without a helmet so fans could see his long blond hair as he streaked down the right wing, "The Flower" scored 53 goals and 119 points. The new Montreal superstar had arrived. This was the start of six perfect seasons for Lafleur. In each, he scored at least 50 goals and 119 points, climaxing in '77-'78 with 60 goals. He led the league in scoring three times, and, more importantly, the Canadiens won four straight Cups, 1976-79. Lafleur's production dipped after that but he remained a steady 27-goal scorer. Nonetheless, the New York Islanders were in control, and the Habs were shut out of Cup victories. Lafleur saw his ice time reduced by former teammate and now coach, Jacques Lemaire, and he retired quietly early in the '84-'85 season after scoring just twice in his first 19 games. After being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, though, Lafleur decided he missed the game too much and made a comeback with the New York Rangers in 1988-89. He then played his final two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques, and every time he returned to play at the Forum he received a crowning ovation. Lafleur twice won the Hart Trophy and won the Conn Smythe after the 1977 playoffs in which he led all players with 26 points. He played in six All-Star Games and won five Stanley Cups, but more than the numbers he lifted people out of their seats with his rushes, his booming slapshot, his seeing-eye passes. A gentleman and fierce competitor, he finished with 560 goals and 1,353 career points, one of the greats, to be sure.