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September 20, 2018

On this day in 1951, one of the greatest NHL & Montreal Canadiens players was born in Thurso, Quebec, Canada.

Beginning a life full of hockey, Guy Lafleur started playing hockey as a young boy after receiving a hockey stick as a Christmas present. He would gain notoriety by leading the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to the Memorial Cup in 1971. The Canadiens GM Sam Pollock was attempting to decide between Marcel Dionne and Lafleur, eventually taking Lafleur with the first overall pick int he 1971 NHL Amateur Draft.

It may have looked like the Habs missed out on taking Dionne as the French-Canadian would lead the Detroit Red Wings in scoring for the first three season of his career, the man known as "Flower" (or "le Démon Blond," the Blond Demon) would blossom into one of the greatest NHL players of all time.

Lafleer would become a key component to a Canadiens team that would capture five Stanley Cup championships. By the time his playing career was over, Lafleur would go down as the Canadiens all-time leading scorer, and led the NHL in points from 1976-1978. During the Canadiens dynasty, Lafleur became the first NHL player to score 50 goals and 100 points in six straight seasons.

Among his many accolades, Lafleur won multiple Art Ross Trophies, Hart Memorial Trophies, Lester B. Pearson Awards along with one Conn Smythe Trophy. He's also one of only three players (Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux) to return to the NHL after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2017, the NHL tabbed Lafleur as one of the '100 Greatest NHL Players' in history.

 


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