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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

JEAN BELIVEAU

Inducted in 1975

Member Details

Date of Birth: August 31, 1931
Place of Birth: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec
Date of Passing: December 2, 2014
Sport: Ice Hockey
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1961-71

Captain, Montreal Canadiens

1956

Art Ross Trophy for most points scored in a season

1956 & 1964

Hart Trophy for NHL's Most Valuable Player

1956

Lionel Conacher Trophy for Canada's Athlete of the Year

1965

Conn Smythe Trophy for Most Valuable Player in the playoffs

1969

Named to Order of Canada

1972

Inducted into Quebec Sports, Canadian Walk & Hockey Halls of Fame

1998

Promoted to Companion, Order of Canada

Honoured Member JEAN BELIVEAU
Inspire

Story

Always a gentleman in sport as well as in life, Jean Beliveau is the embodiment of a true Canadian hero. A leading scorer with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1950s and 1960s, winner of ten Stanley Cups, and twice voted most valuable player in the NHL, Beliveau was a superb athlete; however, it was his class both on and off the ice that set him apart from other hockey stars. Clarence Campbell, president of the NHL once said: "Any parent could use Jean Beliveau as a pattern or model. He provides hockey with a magnificent image. I couldn't speak more highly of anyone who has ever been connected with our game than I do of Jean." Beliveau began his career in the late 1940s playing with Quebec City's junior Citadels and senior Aces. His skills on the ice attracted so much attention that when the city's arena burned down in 1949, it was rebuilt to accommodate the crowds which Beliveau routinely drew. Beliveau was loyal to his Quebec fans for many years but finally succumbed to pressure from the Montreal Canadiens and signed with the vaunted NHL team in 1953. From 1955-60, the Canadiens won five straight Stanley Cups and boasted one of the finest line-ups in hockey history. Along with legendary players such as Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Henri Richard, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, and coach Hector "Toe" Blake, Beliveau was an integral part of what was considered to be the greatest dynasty in the sport. Beliveau played with the Canadiens from 1953-71, captaining the team from 1961 until his retirement, and leading them to ten Stanley Cup victories. At 6'3", he earned him the titles "Big Jean" and "Le Gros Bill." A tough but graceful centreman, Beliveau's scoring record was outstanding. In 1,125 season games, he scored 507 goals and added 712 assists. In his record 16 consecutive years in the playoffs, Beliveau played 162 playoff games with 79 goals and 97 assists. He was awarded the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player in 1956 and 1964 and was the first winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1965 as the most valuable player in the playoffs. In 1956, he was awarded the Art Ross Trophy for most points scored in a season, as well as the Lionel Conacher Trophy for best Canadian athlete. Upon his retirement from the ice in 1971, Beliveau saw his number four jersey retired with him, but his blood remained bleu-blanc-rouge for years after. Always respected for his leadership skills both on and off the ice, Beliveau was appointed Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and Goodwill Ambassador for the Canadiens, a position he held until 1993. Beliveau's charm, honesty, and charisma have been widely recognized, even outside the realm of hockey. He has twice been offered seats in the Canadian Senate, and, in 1993, he was offered the position of governor general. Beliveau, however, never forgot his priorities in life, and turned each one down in order to spend more time with his family.


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